Ronnie Stanley doesn’t get enough credit for giving the Baltimore Ravens nothing to worry about on Joe Flacco’s blindside:
Ronnie Stanley plays one of the most important positions on the football field and he does it well. Stanley is quietly one of the best players on the team. He has started in 27 of the Ravens 32 games since he was drafted in 2016 and he has been one of the Ravens most consistent players.
Stanley is a building block for the Ravens future. The Ravens drafted the new franchise quarterback in Lamar Jackson. Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews are part of the plan moving forward. Stanley is a rock for the offensive line. Marshal Yanda isn’t going to last forever, and Stanley is the future leader up front for the Ravens. The fact that the offensive line stayed functional after Yanda went down last season, is a huge credit to Stanley’s leadership by example.
The Ravens know the importance of a great left tackle. Jonathan Ogden was the Ravens first ever pick and he’s in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Stanley has a huge amount of work to do if he wants to match that legacy but he is easily the closest thing the Ravens have had to Ogden.
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The Ravens drafted Stanley with the sixth overall pick in 2016. When they did it, there was no secret that the Ravens really wanted Jalen Ramsey. Things worked out for the Ravens. The next season the Ravens drafted Marlon Humphrey, who looks like a shutdown cornerback in the making. It’s harder to find a player like Stanley than it is to find a player like Humphrey. If the Ravens did not take Stanley at pick number six, they may have been stuck looking for a long time, for a better option at left tackle. Left tackle is a hard need to fill, and the Ravens have a solid player at that position.
The Ravens drafted Michael Oher in 2009 to be their all important left tackle. He started on the right side and he never moved over. Oher has a huge 6’4″ frame and all the physical attributed that an offensive tackle should have, and he wasn’t even the real deal. Stanley has performed well at left tackle from the start. Stanley was a huge success story. Instead of forcing something in the first round, the Ravens took the best player available. Stanley is unsurprisingly one of the best players the Ravens have now.
Take home point:
Many people thought the fact that Terrell Suggs and Eric Weddle were excluded from the NFL Top 100 was frustrating. I find Stanley’s absence from the list frustrating. He is one of the top 10 Ravens and the idea that there are 100 players better than him is frankly absurd. Stanley is a good pass protector and a good run blocker.
The fact that Stanley doesn’t get that much attention though, is a good thing. The left tackle isn’t always going to get the glory, and often when the commentator talks about an offensive lineman it’s after a sack, or a penalty. If the Ravens didn’t have the left tackle spot anchored down, it would be an unbearable problem for the team. Stanley gets the job done and if he keeps playing at a high level, he will get the recognition he deserves.