Ravens draft theory: Offensive Tackle is on the table in round 1

Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens could be looking for a left tackle in the first round of the NFL Draft. Here is why it could make sense.

This Baltimore Ravens draft theory goes as follows. In 2020 Matt Judon and Ronnie Stanley are set to become free agents. Judon is the better player of the Ravens free agents to be but left tackle is a fundamental part of building any roster.

Next year is supposed to be a big year for free agency with big name free agents potentially there for the taking. The Ravens have a quarterback on a rookie contract so they have a chance to build the roster. In 2020 they will have more cap space than they have had in a very long time.  If the purple and black were able to draft a left tackle in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

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The offensive line is a position of need no matter how you look at it. The Ravens needs happen to be on the interior of the offensive line. They could surely use an upgrade for Matt Skura at the center position. Left guard isn’t the Ravens strong suit and the lingering questions about Marshal Yanda have to be on the Ravens minds. Offensive tackle still makes sense, especially if it is a versatile one.

Let’s imagine three scenarios. The first scenario sees Jawaan Taylor fall to the 22nd pick. Taylor is the left tackle from Florida and he happens to be the 13th best player on my board at the moment. It would be a surprise, but it wouldn’t be all that shocking in a defensive heavy draft.

The next scenario is that the NFL gets too caught up in the measurables of Jonah Williams, and teams pass him up due to overthinking it. Williams, the proven tackle from Alabama, is an unbelievably pro ready prospect and the 10th player on my personal big board. If he’s thought of as a guard his stock could be lower than that. I see him as a left tackle with great footwork and smooth athleticism.

The final scenario is Cody Ford, who is a right tackle from Oklahoma. Ford is a prospect that is considered to be a guard by most analysts. He’s certainly not a left tackle, but he has the ability to play guard and right tackle. In this scenario the Ravens may feel inclined to move Orlando Brown Jr. to the left tackle spot in 2020, should they fall out of the running for Stanley. If the plan is to keep Brown Jr. on the right side, Ford would be a starting guard for the Ravens for a long time and the Stanley part of this conversation becomes a moot point.

In scenarios one and two, the Ravens would have a legit left tackle sitting there on the clock. They could take the tackle and put Stanley on the trading block. This way the Ravens would have a replacement for Stanley on a rookie deal and they could get an extra pick or two from a tackle needy team.

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If Williams is on the clock it would be very hard to pass him up. If it was Taylor, it would still need to be a conversation. It’s not what Eric DeCosta will go into the draft dreaming of, but some long-term thinking could put the tackle position in play. The Ravens aren’t glued to any one need, so they will be a team to watch on draft night. For now, this is just a thought experiment proving that just about every position is on the table for the purple and black.