NFL Draft: Losing Osemele Does Not Force Ravens Hand

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The Oakland Raiders have swept Kelechi Osemele off the market. The Ravens really had no hope of re-signing Osemele, the Raiders have reportedly made him the highest paid guard in NFL history. Contrary to popular opinion, this does not force the Ravens hand in the 2016 NFL Draft.

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The first thing we have to remember is that Osemele was the Ravens left guard. If he was retained, he would have remained a guard. The Ravens are contractually bound to left tackle, Eugene Monroe. It is a contract that wiggling out of doesn’t behoove the Ravens. Like it or not Monroe is the starting tackle for the purple and black.

The Ravens will likely have John Urschel fill Osemele’s spot. Urschel is a very good guard in his own right. Ryan Jensen is also a name to watch here. There is no mystery on the left side. Monroe will be the left tackle, Urschel will be the guard. The Ravens will most likely bring in an insurance policy for the injury prone Monroe. The Ravens just need somebody who can step in for three or four games if he is needed. The back up to Monroe has to be better than James Hurst but that’s not to hard to find.

The offensive tackles in this draft class do not merit a top 10 pick. Laremy Tunsil who may be the top pick, looks the part. Though I’m not sold. He has lazy feet and relies too heavily on the fact that he is huge. Ronnie Stanley does not have me sold either. Stanley is athletic and quick but I just don’t think he can be a human plow against NFL defensive linemen and outside linebackers. The Ravens should not feel forced to draft an offensive tackle because they lost a guard who can play tackle.

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The Ravens must not be surprised that Osemele departed. They knew all along that this would probably happen. The Ravens offensive line is not the main priority. The Ravens need pass rushers, defensive backs and weapons for Joe Flacco. The offensive line will do better than people expect.