Surprises of Cut Day

In whittling the Ravens’ 53-man roster, there were several surprises to the proceedings.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Categories: 2011 Roster, Mike Duffy

With the Ravens making their final cuts to get down to a 53-man roster, there were obviously several players who were guaranteed a roster spot.

There were also some surprising moves.

Here is a look at the most eye-opening roster moves to take place Saturday:

McAdoo Makes The Team
Former University of North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo was only added to the team last week after he wasn’t picked up in the supplemental draft, but he made enough of an impact in the Ravens’ preseason finale that he got a spot on the 53-man squad.

McAdoo recorded a sack-strip in the Ravens’ 21-7 victory over the Atlanta Falcons that was eventually converted into a game-sealing touchdown. The 6-foot-7 pass rusher could make an impact on special teams.

McClellan Anchors Special Teams
Albert McClellan joined the Ravens as an undrafted free agent last year, and he has played his way into a role on the active roster. McClellan finished fourth on the team with nine tackles on defense during the preseason, but Baltimore will look for the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year to be a special teams leader.

Mattison Provides Center Depth
With Matt Birk sitting out the preseason because of a knee injury, it was Bryan Mattison who manned the center position. A converted defensive tackle, Mattison was a solid fill-in. Perhaps Mattison isn’t ready to regularly start on the Ravens’ offensive line, but he proved he can substitute in a pinch.

Gooden, Burgess Are Released
The Ravens revamped their linebacking corps with the dismissal of Prescott Burgess and Tavares Gooden. There were reports that the Ravens were in talks to trade Gooden to the San Francisco 49ers early on Saturday, but in the end, the former third-round draft pick was let go.

Burgess’ release marks a big hole on special teams, where he led the Ravens with 15 tackles.

Marcus Smith Replaced By Williams
For all intents and purposes, wideout Marcus Smith was released in favor of undrafted free agent LaQuan Williams for the Ravens’ sixth receiver position. Smith was a strong special-teamer with five tackles there last year, but Williams posted two big punt returns and one 38-yard reception in the preseason to show he could make plays in several areas of the game.

Allen Makes It Over Parmele
Jalen Parmele was the Ravens’ top punt returner for the first part of the 2010 campaign, and he manned the third running back role admirably. But, the Ravens decided to go with rookie Anthony Allen instead of Parmele to provide depth in the backfield after a strong preseason. Allen beat the odds, as the Ravens released the last two running backs they took in the draft’s later rounds, getting rid of Cerdic Peerman in 2009 and Allen Patrick in 2008. Allen made a great case after averaging 6.8 yards on 11 carries through the preseason.

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