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Ravens rookie offensive lineman Rick Wagner expects to play versatile role

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The Ravens envision a versatile role for rookie left tackle Rick Wagner, their fifth-round draft pick from Wisconsin.

Wagner lined up at left tackle during the Ravens' rookie minicamp, but expects to also be evaluated at right tackle, left guard and right guard.

"Right now, I can play left tackle, right tackle, both guard spots," said Wagner, who met with the Ravens at the Senior Bowl and during the NFL scouting combine. "I'm going to be preparing for that this upcoming month to get ready for the season. The minicamp went pretty good. It was a great experience. I didn't know what to expect coming in here, but I thought we all improved."

Wagner is a 6-foot-6, 308-pounder who garnered All-Big Ten Conference mention for the Badgers. He has run the 40-yard dash in 5.17 seconds, bench pressing 225 pounds 20 times with a 31-1/2 inch vertical leap.

Several past Wisconsin offensive linemen have excelled in the NFL, and Wagner wants to carry on that tradition.

"It's a great group of guys who have done it before me," said Wagner, who visited the San Diego Chargers prior to the draft and worked out privately for six teams, including the Tennessee Titans. "I just want to continue that legacy."

Wagner grew up playing basketball in West Allis, Wis., and drew several scholarship offers to lower Division I programs as a high school senior, but put on 80 pounds after walking on at Wisconsin.

"I played a lot of basketball growing up, but I just really fell in love with the game of football. the physicality, the teammates," Wagner said. "I think I had a better future in football."

awilson@baltsun.com

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