As steadily good as the Baltimore Ravens offensive linemen have constantly been for the past few seasons (and getting better), it looks like their leader and linchpin is still a bit off the radar of some analysts when it comes to naming the absolute cream of the crop talent at the position.
In a story written by Doug Farrar of USA Today on Saturday, the analyst took on the not-so-easy task of ranking the best individual offensive linemen currently plying his trade in NFL offenses across the nation.
If the Ravens want to fulfill the sky-high expectations some folks are putting on them ahead of next season, they'll definitely need all of their frontline members to step up and shield Lamar Jackson and the rushing attack as well as they can.
A key member of the Ravens' offensive line and the leader of the big boys shaping it is veteran and former Pro Bowl and All-Pro Ronnie Stanley, who appeared in 11 games last season having missed all but one year before logging one single start in 2021.
As Farrar sees it, though, Stanley is not worth getting named as one of the Top-5 players at his position entering the 2023 season.
"Stanley is another tackle whose place on this list is dependent to a point on injuries — he missed 10 games in 2020, all but one game in 2021, and six in 2022. Ankle issues limited Stanley to 674 total snaps and 334 pass-blocking reps in 2022, but despite that, he was his usual strong self, allowing one sack, no quarterback hits, and 15 quarterback hurries. in 130 True Pass Sets, he allowed no sacks and 11 hurries.- Doug Farrar, USA Today
When he’s healthy, Stanley is one of those rare blockers who just makes everything look easy. Even the NFL’s better edge defenders can get erased pretty easily."
Truth be told, Farrar is right in his assesment and pointing out the fact that, wasn't it because of the health and injury concerns, Stanley could very well be considered a 99th-percentile offensive lineman, if not the absolute best.
Alas, the best ability is availability and as Farrar highlighted in his short blurb reasoning Stanley's snub from the Top-5 OLs in the NFL, the veteran has missed more games than he's been part of since the turn of the decade.
However, on a per-game basis, Stanley has been elite. According to Stathead, while Stanley has scored an Approximate Value of just 9 from 2020 through 2022, he's done so playing just 18 games and accruing 982 offensive snaps.
Run some simple math, and that yields an average of 0.5 AV per game and 0.0091 AV per snap. Among players with an AV of 9+ from 2020 on, Stanley is one of only two having put up such a valuable play in under 1,000 offensive snaps and a surefire top-32 (read: best OL in his team's line) player in the 2020s.
If Stanley can play the full season in 2023, or at least come close to it, it's not unreasonable for this hot take to turn into a freezing cold one when all is said and done next February.