Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
Sports Ravens Ravens Insider

Ravens could go with Kelechi Osemele as their left tackle

The Ravens have had several opportunities to lock up free agent offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie this offseason and have remained in contact with the former Pro Bowl blocker.

If a deal develops, though, it won't unfold until after the NFL draft.

If the NFL season were to begin today, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome indicated that Kelechi Osemele would probably be the Super Bowl champions' starting left offensive tackle based on what coach John Harbaugh has said to owner Steve Bisciotti.

The Ravens have lined up in past seasons with Michael Oher at left tackle, but appear to want to keep him at right tackle now after a strong run in the playoffs with him on the right side. The Ravens capped the postseason with a Super Bowl victory claimed with McKinnie playing left tackle with Osemele next to him at left guard.

"If we had to line up today with the group that we have, I think John told Steve Bisciotti that K.O. would probably get that opportunity," Newsome said.

The 6-foot-5, 333-pound 2012 second-round draft pick was an All-Big 12 left tackle at Iowa State where he was a three-year starter. However, Osemele primarily played right offensive tackle as a rookie before shifting to left guard for the postseason after starter Jah Reid was placed on injured reserve with a toe injury that required surgery.

“He's done it,” Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said when asked about why the team is confident in Osemele as a left tackle candidate. “He did it at Iowa State. He's played guard for us and played that well. He's played right tackle and played that well.

"We've seen him play left tackle well. He's a smart guy. He's motivated. He's got long arms. He's a good athlete. He can bend. All those things factor into the equation."

The door isn't necessarily closed on McKinnie's potential return, though.

The Ravens have kept in touch with Michael George, McKinnie's agent. McKinnie has drawn preliminary inquiries from the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints, but no deal is imminent and he's unlikely to sign with any team until after the draft.

"Could [McKinnie] be our left tackle? He potentially could be," Newsome said. "Could KO [Osemele] be our left tackle? He could potentially be our left tackle, too. I think we are very open. I think the dialogue has been very good with B-Mac from my standpoint, and I think John would echo the same thing."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensINsider

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Comments
Loading