Ravens: Patrick Mekari exceeding all expectations at right tackle

Ravens, Patrick Mekari (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Ravens, Patrick Mekari (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens‘ offensive line plans were thrown for a loop when star left tackle Ronnie Stanley suffered a setback in Week 1. As a result, the versatile Patrick Mekari was thrust into the starting lineup.

Following a troublesome showing in Week 1, expectations for the offensive line were understandably low after the Ravens shuffled around three positions in the span of six days.

Alejandro Villanueva moved from right tackle to left tackle. Ben Powers and Ben Cleveland stepped in for Tyre Phillips at left guard. And Mekari, a natural center, was forced into the starting lineup at right tackle.

But by some miracle, the offensive line has more than held its own over the last few weeks. And Mekari has been a huge part of that.

Patrick Mekari has impressed as the Ravens’ starting right tackle

In three starts, Mekari has ranked among the NFL’s best both as a run blocker and in pass protection. The former undrafted free agent is ranked second among all offensive tackles in pass-block win rate and eighth among tackles in run-block win rate.

He didn’t allow his first sack until this past week against the Denver Broncos and has only surrendered one QB hit on the season.

That’s right, the same Patrick Mekari who had played just 32 snaps at right tackle in his NFL career. The same Patrick Mekari who had played almost exclusively center and right guard with zero snaps at left tackle going into the 2021 season.

In fact, Mekari only started one game at right tackle in his entire college career as well. And he played almost entirely center in high school.

The fact that he’s been able to have as much success at right tackle as he has is nothing short of miraculous.

You could count on one hand the number of players in the NFL who would be capable starters at all five offensive line positions. Mekari is proving that he’s one of those players.

In fact, Mekari is making a strong case to remain in the starting lineup even once Stanley returns. Villanueva has looked better at his natural left tackle position than he did at right tackle.

And it’s worth considering that, given how much Villanueva struggled at right tackle, perhaps it might be better to keep Mekari as the starter and move Villanueva to the bench once Stanley is healthy.

It’s unclear if the Ravens would consider such a move given how high the team seems to be on Villanueva. But Mekari is certainly making his case.

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While most will point to players like Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, and even Chuck Clark as the Ravens’ top standouts, Mekari has quietly been one of the team’s most impressive performers this season.