Mercifully, last night’s game - and the preseason overall - are behind us.
The Ravens capped off a successful preseason with an ugly 21-7 win over the Falcons last night, and now they can get on to the task of cutting their roster from 80 to the regular season limit of 53.
GM Ozzie Newsome, head coach John Harbaugh and all those involved in the roster trimming process will have until 6 p.m. tomorrow to make their decisions, and they’ll review the tape of last night’s game carefully as part of the process.
A little bit later today, I’ll give my projection of how I expect the 53-man roster to break down, so check back for that. For now, here’s “three up, three down” from last night’s game.
Josh Bynes, LB
Who? You might not have heard much about Bynes, but the undrafted rookie out of Auburn has quietly come on strong recently, and he finished his preseason in fine fashion last night. Check out this stat line from the rookie: five defensive tackles, two sacks, one special teams tackle. That’s how you win over a coaching staff, young man. Bynes doesn’t have a shot at the active roster, but he probably locked up a practice squad spot with his performance last night.
Paul Kruger, OLB
Could Kruger finally be evolving into the edge pass rusher opposite Terrell Suggs that the Ravens hoped they were getting when the selected the Utah product with their second-round pick in the 2009 draft? It’s quite possible. Kruger put the finishing touches on his strong camp with another impressive performance last night, registering a sack, and assisting on another. Since being moved back to outside linebacker this year, Kruger looks like he’s got a new spark, and he might become a legitimate threat off the edge in pass rush situations this year.
Tandon Doss, WR
Doss didn’t have a dominant performance last night by any means, as he made just one catch for seven yards. But the rookie out of Indiana might have established himself as the Ravens’ No. 3 wide receiver when the regular season begins next Sunday. Doss has been consistent all camp, and with fellow rookie Torrey Smith struggling and second-year wideout David Reed dropping a couple passes last night, Doss could be the first receiver the coaches look to when they want to spread out the Steelers’ defense with three wides next weekend.
Ramon Harewood, OT
Harewood has great size, and the 2010 sixth-round pick has shown promise at times since being drafted. Last night, however, was not one of his finer moments. Lining up at left tackle, Harewood looked overmatched early on, getting burned by speed rushes and letting spin moves beat him. He recovered a bit as the game went on, as Atlanta’s second and third-teamers were easier for him to handle. But there’s a chance - maybe not a good one, but a chance - that Harewood played himself off the 53-man roster last night.
Davon Drew, TE
Thought of as the No. 3 tight end entering camp, Drew hasn’t done anything to keep a hold on that spot over the last month. The East Carolina product didn’t make a single catch this preseason, and he’s clearly been passed on the depth chart by veteran Kris Wilson, who was signed two weeks into camp and has made eight preseason grabs for 101 yards since then. Assuming the Ravens keep three tight ends, it’d be pretty, pretty, pretty hard to imagine them keeping Drew over Wilson at this point.
Jalen Parmele, RB
Parmele didn’t stink up the joint last night or anything, but posting just 21 rushing yards on 10 carries wasn’t the best way to make a final statement in the battle for the Ravens’ third running back job. Parmele did have a 25-yard reception against Atlanta, and he’s proven over the last few years that he’s a solid special teams player, but the Ravens have other kickoff return options now, and the four-year veteran might not have done enough to hold off rookie Anthony Allen for that No. 3 RB gig.