Ravens sign third-round pick Ben Cleveland to rookie contract

Ravens, Ben Cleveland Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Ben Cleveland Mandatory Credit: Bryan Lynn-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens started the week with two unsigned draft picks, but as of Tuesday, that number has been cut in half with Ben Cleveland now officially on board.

The Ravens announced on Tuesday that they had signed Cleveland to a standard rookie contract meaning that only one of the team’s eight draft picks remains unsigned — that being third-round pick Brandon Stephens.

Cleveland, the Ravens’ other third-round pick, was selected with the 94th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and is expected to compete for the starting left guard job this summer.

He’s fresh off an accomplished college career that saw him earn first-team All-SEC honors in his senior season. In total, Cleveland appeared in 45 games over the course of four years at Georgia.

The Ravens have high hopes for Ben Cleveland this year and in the future.

Cleveland is expected to step in and immediately compete for a starting job at left guard. With the Ravens shifting Bradley Bozeman to center, a hole has opened up on the left side of the offensive line.

Cleveland is considered the favorite and could earn a key role as a rookie, but he’ll have some competition in the form of players like Ben Powers and Tyre Phillips.

Nonetheless, Cleveland is a player the organization is very high on with offensive coordinator Greg Roman even calling him the “best run blocker” in this year’s draft class.

That’s good news for a Ravens team that was in need of a road-grader on the interior of their offensive line.

At 6-foot-6, 335 pounds, Cleveland is a mammoth of a human being and, while he may be limited athletically, will be looking to become a long-term starter on a revamped Baltimore offensive line.

Ravens rookies officially reported to training camp on Tuesday meaning that it’s hardly a surprise that Cleveland signed his contract when he did. It shouldn’t be too much longer until Stephens joins his fellow rookies as well.

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