Ronnie Stanley has never faced Cleveland Browns rookie defensive end Myles Garrett. But after studying Garrett ahead of Sunday’s AFC North showdown, the Ravens’ starting left tackle has been impressed by the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL draft.
“He’s an athletic, strong guy,” Stanley said after Wednesday’s practice. “I would compare him a lot to [Houston Texans outside linebacker] Jadeveon Clowney physical-wise. He has all the tools and traits you need to be a successful D-end.”
That might seem like high praise for a first-year player, but Garrett, 6 feet 4, 272 pounds, leads Cleveland in sacks with five, already a half-sack more than what Clowney, 6-5, 266 pounds, finished with in his first full season in the league in 2015. Garrett is tied for third among all NFL rookies in sacks despite sitting out the first four games because of a high right ankle sprain and another one because of a concussion.
Garrett missed the Browns’ 24-10 loss at M&T Bank Stadium on Sept. 17, but will draw attention Sunday.
“They have Garrett back,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday. “He’s a factor on defense.”
Stanley labored against Pittsburgh outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who finished with one sack, two more quarterback hits and a forced fumble. Clowney had one sack, two quarterback hits, and one tackle for loss in the first half of the Ravens’ 23-16 “Monday Night Football” win Nov. 27, but was shut out by Stanley in the second half.
Asked if there was one thing he had to concentrate on to limit Garrett, Stanley replied: “As an offensive lineman, you have to be ready for it all because when you’re going against these defensive ends, they can give you speed, they can give you spin, they can give you power. And a lot like Jadeveon, Myles can do it all. He’s fast, he’s strong. So you’ve got to beat him off the ball and you’ve still got to be strong and you’ve still got to be inside. That’s the hard thing about the position. You have to be ready for all of that.”