Ravens linked to ‘violent’ offensive lineman in early 2022 NFL Mock Draft

Ravens Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens made it a point of emphasis to revamp their offensive line in the offseason after a struggling final few months of the 2020 season.

The signings of Kevin Zeitler and Alejandro Villanueva should help as should the addition of Ben Cleveland in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

But despite their numerous additions, there might still be work to be done in the future. After all, Zeitler and Villanueva are hardly long-term solutions.

For that reason, Oliver Hodgkinson of Pro Football Network recently had the Ravens selecting NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu in his latest 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

The Ravens selected Ikem Ekwonu in a recent 2022 NFL Mock Draft.

Hodgkinson’s logic was simple — the Ravens need long-term solutions along the offensive line. And Ekwonu fits the mold of exactly what Baltimore is looking for with their offensive linemen.

"“NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu can be the answer to several issues across the Ravens’ line. In 2020, he earned All-Conference honors at both guard and tackle, a phenomenal achievement and ringing endorsement of his ability to adapt and play anywhere required. Described as the “most feared lineman in the ACC,” Ekwonu is violent, versatile, and athletic. He’s just the type of offensive lineman that the Ravens’ ground game could get behind.”"

Ekwonu started seven games at left tackle as a true freshman in 2019 and was named to both the FWAA Freshman All-America team and the PFF All-Freshman Team for 2019.

He returned in 2020 and started at both tackle and guard for NC State, amazingly earning All-ACC honors from the Associated Press at both guard and tackle.

Ekwonu’s versatility will certainly help him stand out in the draft process and it could be exactly what the Ravens are looking for.

Villanueva is likely a stop-gap at right tackle and while someone like Ja’Wuan James could feasibly take over next season, he isn’t a long-term solution either.

Ekwonu could be just that for the Ravens, or he could be asked to eventually supplant Zeitler at right guard. Either way, they would have found a long-term starter.

From a play-style perspective, Ekwonu fits the Ravens’ mold and checks all the boxes as well. He’s as violent and powerful of a blocker as they come, even being dubbed the “most feared lineman in the ACC,” as Hodgkinson noted.

Next. Ravens: 4 players with the most to prove in 2021 training camp. dark

It’s still very early, but Ikem Ekwonu is a name that Ravens fans should keep an eye on as the 2021 season progresses.