From now until May 8, the first round of the 2014 NFL draft, The Sun will look at where the Ravensstand at each position, the likelihood that they will address that spot early in the draft and some of the prospects that they may consider.
The Ravens have eight total picks in the three-day draft: one in each of the first, second, fifth and sixth rounds, and two each in the third and fourth rounds.
Today we'll be examining the offensive line:
Current offensive linemen under contract: Tackles – Eugene Monroe, Rick Wagner, Jah Reid, David Mims; Guards – Marshal Yanda, Kelechi Osemele; Centers – Jeremy Zuttah, Gino Gradkowski, A.Q. Shipley, Ryan Jensen, Reggie Stephens.
Chances that the Ravens draft an offensive lineman in first three rounds: High. The Ravens’ biggest need probably is at right tackle, where Wagner, a fifth-round pick last year who played sparingly in his rookie season, currently tops the depth chart. His top competition for the job is Reid, a former third-round pick who has yet to establish himself as a capable starter. The Ravens, who would prefer keeping Osemele at left guard, need another option at right tackle. However, some draft pundits have predicted as many as five tackles could go before the Ravens are on the clock at 17. That could cause them to wait a round or two before grabbing one. The Ravens also need more depth at guard, but that’s probably something they’ll look for on day three.
Possibly on Ravens’ radar: Tackles – Cyrus Kouandijo (Alabama), Taylor Lewan (Michigan), Zack Martin (Notre Dame), Morgan Moses (Virginia); Guards – Chris Burnette (Georgia), Gabe Jackson (Mississippi State), Trai Turner (LSU)
Outlook: Fixing their troublesome offensive line was the Ravens’ top offseason priority and so far, they’ve re-signed Monroe to play left tackle and traded for Zuttah to play center. But while they are high on Wagner, the reshaping of the offensive line won’t be viewed as complete until they add a right tackle. The good news for them is the draft is pretty deep at offensive tackle with as many as six possibly going in the first round. Unless they move up significantly in the first round, which they usually don’t do, the Ravens won’t be in play for Auburn’s Greg Robinson or Texas A&M;’s Jake Matthews. Lewan also is expected to go in the top 15 unless his off-the-field issues scare teams off. However, Martin, Kouandijo and Moses could be options with the latter two potential being available later in the first round if the Ravens trade back. There’s also the possibility that the Ravens wait and try to draft one of the second or third tier tackles, which would be a show of confidence in Wagner. The Ravens currently have five centers on their roster so there’s not a need there, but they would like to add more depth at guard behind Yanda and Osemele.