You can be sure that the Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and head coach John Harbaugh will be making the short walk between their adjacent offices plenty of times between now and the end of the preseason. The goal will be to whittle down their current 90-man roster to 53 players who form a good blend of talent, veteran experience, leadership, youthful potential and reliable depth.
The majority of that final roster will be easy to choose. After all, it’s hardly going to take the brain trust a long time to figure out that Joe Flacco is making the 53-man squad.
But Newsome and Harbaugh will have plenty of tough choices to make when it comes to picking those final spots, and it is those difficult decisions that will be dissected here (complete with my own thoughts on how it all shakes out).
We’ll start with the last five players to make the roster in this hypothetical exercise, starting with Justin Forsett (the "safest" of the five) and ending with Albert McClellan (the last player to make the roster). Then we will close with the guys who will just miss the cut (ending with the toughest cut, A.Q. Shipley).
Picking the final roster is like making a giant puzzle. Each roster spot is dependent on the other players who make the team, so the last slide is my way-too-early projection for the final 53-man roster to give you an idea of how the positional distribution affected the last five in and last five out.