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10 Bubble Players To Watch

Keep an eye on these players tonight in Atlanta as they try to make the 53-man roster.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 11:55 am | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Preseason 4 vs Falcons, Ryan Mink

The main entertainment in the fourth and final preseason game is watching the young guns battle it out for those last remaining roster spots.

For those sitting at home who may not recognize many of the names they’ll be hearing Thursday night from Atlanta, here’s a list of 10 bubble players to watch, with their numbers to make it easier for you:

RB Anthony Allen (No. 35)
The seventh-round rookie running back dropped a chance to boost his stock for making the roster last week when he had the potential game-winning pass go through his hands. However, the Georgia Tech product has been impressive running the ball, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. He’s trying to beat out veteran Jalen Parmele.

G/C Justin Boren (No. 65)
The scrappy blocker out of Ohio State has been impressive this preseason and has occasionally stepped in with the first team when others have been injured. With the Ravens releasing Oniel Cousins, could there be room for a rookie free agent on the interior offensive line?

CB Chykie Brown (No. 40)
Brown’s name hasn’t been called much thus far in preseason games, as the Ravens have looked to get fellow rookie Jimmy Smith up to speed, along with Cary Williams. Meanwhile, rookies Josh Victorian and Talmadge Jackson have each notched interceptions. But Brown has skills and size, and Baltimore doesn’t let go of fifth-round picks often.

DT Lamar Divens (No. 96)
Divens and Brandon McKinney fill similar roles along the Ravens’ defensive line. Baltimore has kept both the past two years, but that was before the emergence of Arthur Jones and Pernell McPhee. The four-year veteran notched a sack against the Kansas City Chiefs and two tackles versus the Redskins.

T Ramon Harewood (No. 78)
The 2010 sixth-round pick spent last year on injured reserve after knee surgery. He was removed from the PUP list on Aug. 13 and has worked as a backup tackle – including on the left side. Baltimore signed two veteran tackles, Mark LeVoir and Bryant McKinnie. LeVoir shifting to guard could leave space for Harewood, who has loads of developmental upside.

RB Jalen Parmele (No. 33)
The fifth-year veteran served as the team’s third running back for the past three seasons and is now being pushed by the younger Allen. Parmele was originally the team’s kickoff returner last year but was replaced midway through the season. He’s in the mix for it this year, which would help his stock.

LB Jason Phillips (No. 58)
Phillips made six tackles and forced a fumble on special teams last year. He’s a gritty tackling machine, but he’s also part of a very deep inside linebacker corps. Phillips is batting primarily with Tavares Gooden, Brendon Ayanbadejo and Dannell Ellerbe for possibly two roster sports.

WR Marcus Smith (No. 11)
Can Smith make it on special teams again? The fourth-year veteran hasn’t had a reception in his career, nor has he had one this preseason. But he’s been praised for his work specifically as a gunner and blocker. In a year where the veterans have an edge, Smith could be on the right side of the bubble again.

WR LaQuan Williams (No. 15)
Williams has been perhaps the most impressive rookie free agent in camp. Originally thought to be a special teamer, his playmaking ability at wideout has shined. Williams also had a clutch punt return last week versus the Redskins. He’s battling veterans Smith and James Hardy for maybe one spot.

TE Kris Wilson (No. 87)
Signed on Aug. 8, the eight-year veteran is working to become the Ravens’ third tight end behind youngsters Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta. Wilson is more of a blocking tight end than competitor Davon Drew, and has helped mentor the younger group. He has seven receptions in the preseason thus far.

OK, a few more: WR James Hardy, S Mana Silva, DE/OLB Michael McAdoo, C/G Bryan Mattison, C Jason Murphy, OLB Prescott Burgess, TE Davon Drew, DE Albert McClellan

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