Having a good offensive line is one of the most important aspects of any football team and the Baltimore Ravens are sparing no expense on theirs.
The Baltimore Ravens have had plenty of quality offensive linemen in their history to include Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden and future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda. Baltimore has had a slew of guys outplay themselves from the Ravens pockets in the forms of players like Ben Grubbs and Kelechi Osemele. The team has also seen some guys hit in recent years such as Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. All in all, the Ravens have been pretty smart when it comes to drafting and developing offensive line talent.
That notion will be put to the test in 2020, specifically on the interior of the offensive line.
The aforementioned Yanda retired this offseason after playing 13 seasons, all with Baltimore. He locked down the right guard spot for the entirety of his career and replacing him will be no easy task. Additionally, the left guard spot may be up for grabs if Bradley Bozeman, who manned the position in 2019, doesn’t take the next step forward. Center is also a mystery due to Matt Skura‘s devastating knee injury and Patrick Mekari stepping up nicely in his absence. Second-year man Ben Powers spent his first season in the league marinating and learning the ropes. He may perhaps be a favorite for one of the available guard spots here.
Bozeman and Skura are the only truly proven players right now, while Mekari and Powers could be decent-to-good role players. Bringing back Bozeman, Skura, Mekari, and Powers for 2020 provides stability in terms of familiarity to the trenches. This isn’t enough, however, which is why we’ve seen the Ravens addressing their offensive line this offseason to assure there are no deficiencies bleeding into the upcoming season.
The Ravens signed D.J. Fluker recently, who can be the team’s swing tackle or starting guard in a pinch, a role James Hurst held before being cut this offseason. To further their resources to the line, Baltimore drafted Tyre Phillips (Mississippi State) and Ben Bredeson (Michigan) in the third and fourth rounds respectively during the 2020 NFL Draft. With all these moves, the Ravens will have tons of competition for three spots, ensuring they get the best starting five possible; a philosophy John Harbaugh strongly believes in.
This level of investment paints the picture that the Ravens have a serious commitment to ensuring their offensive line remains a stout unit for 2020. From Free Agency to the NFL Draft to bringing back familiar faces, Baltimore clearly understands the importance of their offensive line play and has made the correct moves to ensure it plays well.
For a team that wants to continue running the ball and attack secondaries intermediately-to-deep in the passing game, having a good offensive line is absolutely pivotal to success and these moves paint the picture that the Ravens realize this.
Yes, having quality offensive line play is imperative for most team’s success, but the Baltimore Ravens need to have on of the best in the business if they want their offense to remain one of the league’s best in 2020. The front office knows this and has invested accordingly in more ways than one. It seems fair to say the offensive line will once again be a strength for the Ravens thanks to the heavy amount of assets spent on the position.