Baltimore Ravens: Offensive line could be strength of team
Last year the Baltimore Ravens offensive line stayed glued together despite a bunch of plan changing injuries. This year the offensive line could be the strength of the team:
The Baltimore Ravens came out of the 2018 NFL Draft stronger on the offensive line. The Ravens drafted Orlando Brown Jr. to be the right tackle to Ronnie Stanley’s left tackle. The Ravens also added Bradley Bozeman and Greg Senat to the the offensive line room as well. Assuming Brown can plug the void at right tackle, the Ravens’ offensive line ended up getting a starter and some premium depth.
The Ravens offensive line was already fairly deep. It’s important to remember that Alex Lewis, Marshall Yanda and Nico Siragusa are all coming back after losing the 2017 season due to injuries. Players like Matt Skura and Jermaine Eluemunor got some on the job training. Whatever you think about James Hurst, he earned a new contract with the purple and black. The offensive line sets up like this:
- LT: Ronnie Stanley
- LG: Alex Lewis/ James Hurst
- C: Matt Skura/ Bradley Bozeman
- RG: Marshal Yanda
- RT: Orlando Brown Jr.
At left guard you have a real position battle heading into camp. The Ravens just paid Hurst more than a backup left guard typically receives, however Lewis is probably the better player. This is going to be an interesting position battle because it is the best position for both players, even though they are both capable of playing tackle.
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At center there is another position battle. Skura proved to be a strong run blocker and it should be his job to lose coming into training camp. Bradley Bozeman is a rookie, but the Ravens drafted him because he was the best option remaining at a position of need. Bozeman is absolutely competing for the starting job.
However it pans out, the Ravens offensive line is formidable. Stanley is one of the top tackles in football, while Yanda is a player that is one of the best of this generation. The Ravens offensive line got bigger and more powerful in the draft. Other than the secondary it may be the deepest position group on the Ravens’ roster.
This sets up for the Ravens to use the running game as the centerpiece of the offense. It also allows Joe Flacco to make the most of his new weapons. Flacco received some major pressure in this draft class in the form of Lamar Jackson; he needs all the help he can get.
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The offensive line was surprisingly proficient in the 2017 season and there is no reason why the offensive line should see declining performance in 2018. Players returning from injuries, plus a strong push from the draft gives the offensive line a chance to be impressive this season.