Rookie offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley is a major key for the Raven’s offensive line for years to come
The Baltimore Ravens are not used to high draft picks. After a disappointing 5-11 season, the Ravens found themselves with the 6th overall pick in the 2015 draft.
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It was not certain who the team would draft with their first round pick. Draft needs included a wide receiver, corner-back, pass-rusher, and an offensive lineman. When the Ravens got on the clock, the pick was not put to waste. With their highest draft pick in 16 years, the Ravens took offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley.
Stanley was the obvious pick for the Ravens. They saw top defensive draft targets Joey Bosa and Jalen Ramsey fall off the board early. With the controversy surrounding Laremy Tunsil on draft night, Ozzie Newsome and company did not take any chances. Stanley was a stud at Notre Dame. He helped pave the way for an Irish offense that averaged over 200 yards rushing and passing during his senior season. His 36 starts over his 4 years made him a very experienced player and a perfect fit for the Ravens.
I caught up with Ronnie quickly on Twitter to ask him about his time in Baltimore so far.
"How did it feel on draft night to get taken at #6 to the Ravens?It felt amazing, but I know I had a lot of responsibility now.What do you think is the biggest thing you’ve learned so far in your rookie year? Don’t try to do too much. Just work hard and play smart.Who were the players you looked up to and why? Tyron smith. He was just a beast and still is Funniest guy in the locker room? Lardarius Webb Do you think Justin Tucker will ever miss another field goal? I don’t think so this year at least. He’s on fire.Best thing about living in Baltimore?The fans are great and there’s great seafood here."
Just what the doctor ordered
He was not the sexy pick that fans wanted, but was much needed. Joe Flacco suffered a major knee injury and starting tackle Eugene Monroe’s playing career was in question. Not to mention, offensive guard Kelechi Osemele left to sign with the Oakland Raiders. With holes in the offensive line, Stanley was able contribute immediately.
He has had his rookie struggles, but that is expected. He has started 7 games this season, but missed 4 games due to a foot injury. The line struggled in his absence and he was able to return against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 7. One of his best performances came last Sunday in the Raven’s 19-14 win against the Bengals. Joe Flacco was barley pressured and it seemed that the quarterback’s only major problem was figuring out how to slide with his knee brace.
It is important for him to stay healthy, as the line has dealt with a fair share of injuries this season. The Ravens are currently fighting for a division title and Stanley must be the glue that holds the offensive line together.
Stanley is a major piece for the Raven’s moving forward. As he continues to play and gets more experience, he will improve. His ceiling high and he has the potential to become a solid pro in the NFL.