Baltimore Ravens State of the Corps: Offensive Line and Fullback


Offensive line and fullback are undoubtedly two positions of strength for the Baltimore Ravens. The o-line features good-to-very good starters at each position as well as younger, developing guys who have shown promise in their limited playing time. That unit paved the way for a top 10 rushing attack (with help from Kyle Juszczyk) in 2014 and allowed the 2nd fewest sacks in the NFL.

Dec 7, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A view of the pocket as Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) passes while tackle Eugene Monroe (60) and Baltimore Ravens guard Kelechi Osemele (72) and guard Marshal Yanda (73) and tackle Ricky Wagner (71) block in the first quarter of game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Eugene Monroe, normally a strong left tackle, is trying to bounce back from a poor season.  Monroe was flagged a lot while giving up 3 sacks and 14 QB hurries, and he missed 5 games due to injury. During the playoffs, James Hurst started at left tackle and performed well enough. At right tackle, Rick Wagner was certainly not given enough attention despite grading out as Pro Football Focus’ best right tackle in just his second year. Jah Reid on the other hand, played very few snaps and he’ll certainly be competing for a spot on the roster this year.

At guard, Marshal Yanda had perhaps his finest season in 2014. He once again made the Pro Bowl and even slid over to right tackle to cover for Rick Wagner when he went down with an injury. During that time, John Urschel played at guard and looked very capable. Kelechi Osemele had a fine bounce back season after missing all of 2013 with a back injury.

Perhaps the Ravens’ biggest upgrade from 2013 was at center. After trading peanuts for Jeremy Zuttah, he came in and played 99.2% of the snaps. Zuttah was overpowered at times due his his smallish build, but his athleticism and mobility was a good match for Gary Kubiak’s stretch zone-run scheme. Gino Gradkowski, after playing every snap in 2013, played only 8 snaps last season. He is fine as a backup and can play guard if necessary.

Sep 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) celebrates during the game against the Carolina Panthers at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Juszczyk was drafted in 2013 and he’s shaping up to be very good pick as a fullback. Juice contributes on special teams and he really came along as a lead blocker last season. He also contributed a lot more on offense, grabbing 19 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown. Though Juszczyk did fumble twice (losing both), he figures to have an even more expanded roll next year due to the questionable state of the tight end corps and his ability to be a threat as a receiver as well.

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