James Hurst moving to right tackle isn’t a smart idea


John Harbaugh had a press conference earlier today, stating that Alex Lewis would be moving to guard and James Hurst would be moving back to right tackle in 2018.

Monday mornings usually aren’t everyone’s favorite but this week was particularly tough for Baltimore Ravens fans to endure.

Head coach John Harbaugh announced that James Hurst, who played the 2017 season on the interior part of the offensive line at left guard would be moving back to right tackle, a position he isn’t known for exactly flourishing at.

All the holding penalties and allowed sacks were why Hurst was moved to guard in the first place. On top of that, it was also why the organization signed recently released Austin Howard. Although Pro Football Focus didn’t exactly give Hurst the best rating, for the most part, he was pretty reliable at the guard position.

The move is certainly a head-scratcher, to say the least. If you recall when quarterback Joe Flacco tore his ACL a few seasons ago, it was a result of James Hurst falling on him after ultimately being thrown down to the ground. Can Joe Flacco rely on James Hurst to play at right tackle and re-establish himself at the position he struggled at just two seasons ago? And if he can’t, where do the Ravens go for a contingency plan?

Joe Flacco is 33 years old, he can’t play a full season with a right tackle that struggles with his blocks and is getting penalties left and right over the course of a 16-game season. This is a big move for the offense and it’s a move I’m not sure anyone is thrilled about seeing.

How early should the front office consider taking a tackle as a backup plan if the Hurst move doesn’t work out?

By moving Hurst back to the right tackle position, it begs to question: What does this mean about the NFL draft? How early will general manager Ozzie Newsome consider drafting a right tackle, if the Hurst move blows up in their faces?

The Ozzie Newsome era is coming to an end, and I can’t think of a more Ozzie Newsome move than drafting a guy like Mike McGlinchey out of Notre Dame or a Connor Williams out of Texas. If one of them happens to be there at pick No. 16, don’t be surprised if you hear one of their names called. I know, it’s not the sexy move fans want. They’d rather have one of the big-name wide receivers or running backs but just be prepared.

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If Ozzie and the front office don’t go offensive tackle in round one, taking one in round two or three is definitely in play. There are plenty of prospects that will be available in their grasps in the mid- rounds of the draft if the Ravens don’t go in that direction round one. Ozzie Newsome has been able to find gems on the offensive line over the years, gems that he ultimately let walk and earn big paydays elsewhere.Expect Ozzie to give us one more in a time of need, especially after this move earlier today.