Leading up to the draft, The Baltimore Sun will look at the Ravens' personnel at each position, explore whether they could add to that position and analyze who
Leading up to the draft, The Baltimore Sun will look at the Ravens' personnel at each position, explore whether they could add to that position and analyze who they might target.
Today we'll examine offensive linemen.
Current offensive linemen under contract: Centers Jeremy Zuttah and Ryan Jensen; guards Marshal Yanda, John Urschel and Leon Brown; tackles Eugene Monroe, Rick Wagner, James Hurst, De'Ondre Wesley, Blaine Clausell.
Chances the Ravens will draft an offensive lineman in first three rounds: Decent. Unlike last year, when the Ravens had their top seven offensive linemen set before the draft, there are questions about this year's group. Kelechi Osemele's departure in free agency leaves an opening at left guard (Urschel is the top candidate to fill it) and Monroe's status at left tackle is shaky. With Monroe struggling to stay healthy and Wagner a year away from free agency, this draft would be an ideal time for the Ravens to find an offensive tackle for the future. But to do that, they'll likely have to invest an early-round pick.
Possibly on Ravens' radar: Guards Willie Beavers (Western Michigan), Joe Dahl (Washington State) and Cody Whitehair (Kansas State); tackles Taylor Decker (Ohio State), Germain Ifedi (Texas A&M), Jason Spriggs (Indiana), Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame) and Laremy Tunsil (Mississippi).
Outlook: Even with Osemele bolting in free agency and ongoing questions about Monroe's durability, the Ravens haven't acted like a team overly concerned about its offensive line. They say they are comfortable with Urschel and Jensen at left guard, and team owner Steve Bisciotti maintained that Monroe will remain the Ravens' left tackle in 2016. Even if that is the case – head coach John Harbaugh has been noncommittal about Monroe - the Ravens need to add youth and depth to their offensive line. They need a better insurance policy for the injury-prone Monroe than Hurst and Wesley. They also have to think a year early about finding a potential replacement for Wagner if the starting right tackle leaves in free agency next offseason. The Ravens have a lot of faith in offensive line coach Juan Castillo's ability to develop unheralded young blockers, fueling the belief they can find quality offensive linemen in the middle-to-late rounds. However, if Tunsil drops to the No. 6 pick, it would be difficult for the Ravens to let him fall any farther.