Ravens: Ben Mason seems unlikely to make the 53-man roster

Ravens, Ben Mason (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Ravens, Ben Mason (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens clearly had a plan for Ben Mason when they selected him at the end of the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, a few months into his tenure, it’s not exactly clear what that plan was.

Mason has struggled to find a role on the team and, as the days and weeks go on, it’s beginning to seem less and less likely that there even is a role for him.

Somewhat surprisingly, Mason finds himself on the roster bubble this summer. And at this stage, he’s on the outside looking in.

Would the Ravens really cut Ben Mason before he plays a game?

Mason was selected with the 184th overall pick in this year’s draft with the team eyeing him as a potential fullback/tight end hybrid.

The Connecticut native shined at Michigan as a powerful fullback, although his skills as a pass-catcher were nonexistent. That wasn’t to say that he didn’t possess those skills — he was just rarely asked to display them.

Mason had just three catches in his collegiate career and was almost exclusively used as a fullback. That’s why it was quite the surprise when he was drafted by Baltimore — a team with one of the best fullbacks in the NFL in Patrick Ricard.

Perhaps the plan was to move Mason to tight end full-time. If that was the case, however, it sure hasn’t come to fruition.

Mason has been largely an afterthought this offseason as he underwhelmed in spring practices and has failed to do much of anything in training camp.

The hope was that Mason would begin to excel once the pads came on and he could show off his blocking skills. But that hasn’t really been the case.

And as it currently stands, there isn’t any room for him on the roster.

Ricard is a roster lock. The Ravens should carry at least three tight ends with Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle (provided he’s healthy), and Josh Oliver seemingly in line for those roles.

If Boyle isn’t healthy to start the season, that could open up a roster spot for veteran Eric Tomlinson. Either way, though, Mason hasn’t been receiving any reps at tight end.

The Ravens hate cutting draft picks early in their careers. It would certainly sting to cut ties with a fifth-round pick before he ever takes the field.

But there’s really no justification for carrying a backup fullback in the year 2021. Especially when that roster spot could be used to help sort out logjams in the secondary, offensive line, or even at wide receiver.

There are plenty of players much more deserving of spots.

The Ravens might attempt to sneak Mason onto their practice squad with the belief that few teams even carry fullbacks anymore.

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But unless something significant changes within the next week, don’t expect Ben Mason to make the initial 53-man roster.