Early favorite emerging in tightly contested Ravens safety battle at OTAs

The Ravens' depth chart is starting to take shape.
Baltimore Ravens vs Washington Commanders
Baltimore Ravens vs Washington Commanders / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Baltimore Ravens are going to look internally to replace safety Geno Stone after his defection to the rival Cincinnati Bengals. A quartet of defensive backs, led by longtime Ravens backup Ar'Darius Washington, are vying for that spot.

Washington is competing with fourth-round pick T.J. Tampa, seventh-rounder Sanoussi Kane, and undrafted free agent Beau Brade for Stone's old role. With how often Baltimore put three safeties on the field last year, this competition could have some big ramifications.

If Baltimore wants to lean on a veteran over any one of the new rookies coming into the fold, Washington might be the top dog in this race. The latest buzz makes it seem like the former undrafted free agent is finally going to get his chance to prove he can contribute to this defense.

According to Ryan Mink of the Ravens' team website, Washington, who intercepted a pass near the end of one of Baltimore's OTA practices, is the leader in the clubhouse for the No. 3 safety role. Will his preseason playmaking translate when the chips are down in the regular season?

Ar'Darius Washington leading Baltimore Ravens No. 3 safety competition

Washington has played in just eight games in three seasons with the Ravens, tallying 14 tackles and one sack in that time. The TCU product has won over some fans with strong preseason performances, as he has shown what he is capable of in a traditional safety role despite being listed at 5-8 and 176 pounds.

Washington will face plenty of internal competition for this role, especially if Baltimore decides to give Tampa some looks at safety in the name of positional versatility. With a big 6-2 frame and solid tackling in the open field, Tampa looks like he could be a worthwhile safety.

Kane's coverage skills at Purdue were the weakest part of his game, as he needs to show he is more than just a promising athlete who can hit hard if he wants to last in the pros. Brade was regarded as one of the best undrafted free agents in the available pool, but his injury has made it tough for him to flex his muscles.

The possibility of signing a veteran playmaker like Jamal Adams or Tony Jefferson could still be in the mix, and nothing he does in the preseason is (unfortunately) going to eradicate those thoughts. Washington needs to keep his head down and continue impressing if he wants a shot at becoming this year's Stone.