Baltimore Ravens

Rookie tackle Kelechi Osemele fine-tuning his game

For Ravens offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele, his NFL education has included the experience of starting every game of his rookie season.

The Ravens' right tackle has been tasked with blocking everyone from Jason Babin, Justin Houston, Anthony Spencer, J.J. Watt, LaMarr Woodley, Ryan Kerrigan and Elvis Dumervil. On Sunday, he'll square off with New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and outside linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka.


"It's what you play football for in the National Football League," Osemele said. "The last couple of weeks, I've been challenged. It's always good to see that."

A second-round draft pick from Iowa State, Osemele has displayed toughness and aggressiveness as a run blocker.


The 6-foot-5, 335-pounder has allowed seven sacks and 23 quarterback hurries and been penalized six times and is working diligently to improve as a pass blocker.

Overall, Osemele has held up well.

And hee's been intent at upgrading his footwork and hand placement to do a better job of walling off pass rushers.

A man of few words, Osemele has been strictly focused on his play and hasn't allowed anything to break his concentration.

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In college, Osemele didn't play nearly this many games, but he says he has made the adjustment to the longer NFL schedule.

"It doesn't really feel different than college," Osemele said. "The only thing that's different is the mental aspect of the game. It's constantly changing, seeing different fronts, a variety of things.

"As far as holding up physically, I probably felt worse than this at this point in college than now because there's so much time in the NFL to work on keeping your body healthy."

Although Osemele took work in the preseason at left guard and is capable of playing inside, he prefers to play tackle.


"Yeah, that's what I've played since high school," Osemele said. "I've only played guard one year in my football care. I've always felt comfortable at tackle."