Ronnie Stanley has become top-shelf tackle for Baltimore Ravens
By Darin McCann
A Ravens season based on new directions is led by their dominant tackle
Up is down, night is day and cats are barking dogs up trees for the Baltimore Ravens these days.
The Ravens have long been an organization traditionally defined by a dominant defense holding up a lackluster offense, with Marshall Yanda being the top dog on the offensive line. But a look at this year’s squad reveals a team being largely driven by their electric play maker at quarterback.
While Yanda is still a top-shelf player at right guard, tackle Ronnie Stanley is becoming the dominant force on what has been a very effective line to this point of the season.It might be underselling Stanley’s performance to qualify him as the top-performer on the Ravens’ line.
In fact, we might be looking at the premier left tackle in football. Per Pro Football Focus, Stanley is currently grading out as that organization’s top pass-blocking tackle in the game.
Sure, PFF comes with its detractors, as does, well, anything in this current world of “hate-first-then-determine” culture we surround ourselves in, but it is not the only organization that sees Stanley’s performance as top-shelf. ESPN’s analytic staffers have developed what they call the “Pass Block Win Rate” to determine the performance of offensive lineman. Stanley graded out well there, also, registering a 93-percent efficiency rate.
Since being drafted by the Ravens with the sixth overall selection of the 2015 NFL Draft, Stanley has been a solid and dependable left tackle, a luxury that many teams in the league chase every year. Just take a look at the disaster that is currently the Cleveland Browns offensive line.
Then look again. Because it’s hilarious. Absolute comedy, from every angle. You can just picture Cleveland fans trying to shield their eyes from the atrocities that are happening at the line of scrimmage nearly every single pass play…
But I digress.
Stanley has continuously taken a step every season, and that dependable left tackle has now become a dominant one. As a young quarterback continues to develop, and new pieces will be introduced into the offensive line mix over the next few years, Stanley’s emergence as both a force and a leader of the position group becomes more and more critical.
The 2015 season for the Ravens was an unmitigated disaster, as injuries and losses resulted in a 5-11 campaign — a stinker by any measure. But out of that stink came a diamond. And he has been improving and excelling at his craft ever since.
For all the justifiable hype about Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, it’s time we shine a little light on the big man playing left tackle. Ronnie Stanley has earned it.