Ronnie Stanley and Alex Lewis are the young core of the Ravens O-Line
By Joe Schiller
The Baltimore Ravens have two young lineman in Ronnie Stanley and Alex Lewis who are the young core of this offensive line.
There’s been a lot of talk about the Ravens offensive line this offseason. After losing Rick Wagner and trading away Jeremy Zuttah, there are holes to fill. Going into training camp later this month, it’s been a top concern.
While there is concern, there’s a lot to be optimistic about. Two young leaders are emerging on the offensive line: Ronnie Stanley and Alex Lewis. They are coming off great rookie seasons and it’s clear they are the young core for this offensive line.
Aside From Yanda, There’s Youth
When you think of the Ravens, you think of veterans and experienced players. That is what Ozzie Newsome and company have thrived on over the years, but it’s much different this season, especially on the offensive line. There is a youth movement.
Aside from Marshal Yanda, the rest of the offensive line is young. Not counting any undrafted free agents added this year, there’s not a lineman over the age of 26.
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This can be a good and bad thing. It’s a good thing because the Ravens have young pieces for the future. It’s bad news because young players usually means inexperienced players. While that might be the case for some teams, the Ravens have young lineman playing years beyond their age.
Impressive Rookie Seasons
For as inconsistent as the offensive line was last season, Ronnie Stanley and Alex Lewis both had great seasons.
Lewis surprised as a fourth round pick. He finished the season graded as the top rookie guard per Pro Football Focus. It was higher than Laremy Tunsil, who the Ravens considered taking in the first round before the whole draft day fiasco.
Stanley struggled a bit to start the season, but really found his grove the second-half. Along with Lewis he graded out very well according to Pro Football Focus. He finished as the most efficient pass blocker among rookie offensive tackles.
For two lineman thrown straight into the fire as rookies, thats pretty darn good.
The most impressive part? Both didn’t even play full seasons. Now with everyone healthy and Yanda back at right guard, Lewis and Stanley will anchor Joe Flacco’s blind side. It’s a big ask but these two have already proven what they can do in such a short time in the league.
The Bottom Line
As great as Marshal Yanda has been over the years, his time in the NFL won’t last for ever. Luckily, it looks like the Ravens have the talent and leadership to take over for him once he is gone.
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In just one short season Ronnie Stanley and Alex Lewis have proven that they are the young core for this offensive line. They will continue to build chemistry as they play together on the left side of the line. Along with getting it done on the field, these two will also be tasked with mentoring the rest of these young lineman.
With an offense that needs to improve this season, it all starts on the line.