Marshal Yanda retires: 3 big things to think about
2. Is Ben Powers ready to take the starting job?
I was optimistic when the Ravens drafted Ben Powers. So far we haven’t seen anything to discourage me about Powers. He didn’t get on the field much as a rookie, but there are tons of players who you can say that about who had huge second seasons. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing that Powers didn’t spend a lot of time on the active roster this past season. Powers wasn’t really needed on game days. Powers is strictly a guard. Patrick Mekari was the backup center. James Hurst was the player the Ravens could put anywhere except center. Bradley Bozeman and Marshal Yanda made all 15 starts before the Ravens rested their starters. Powers ended up playing well in the regular season finale against the Steelers.
It’s important to remember that the Ravens absolutely tried to get a long-term starter with the pick of Powers. With their reputation for finding gems in the trenches during the later stages of the draft, it wouldn’t be surprising if Powers adds to that reputation. Here is what I wrote about the pick of Powers in the moment:
"“The only knock on this pick is that I liked Michael Jordan a little bit more. The Ravens probably found their starter at left guard with Ben Powers. Powers is a sturdy offensive lineman with a great build. The Sooners had the best offensive line in College Football. The Ravens hope to have the best offensive line for in the NFL. Now the Ravens have addressed their three main needs. At this point the Ravens knew they were working with house money.”"
Powers has to win the job still. There is nothing locked up about it. That being said, if the season started today Powers would go in as the presumed starter. We have a really small sample size of Powers at the NFL level. So far there is no real reason to be discouraged. Powers may be the answer at right guard. There is reason for optimism and only time will tell.