2. Did Ben Cleveland already lose his position battle?
Ben Cleveland has been trending down ever since the Baltimore Ravens left OTAs. Cleveland entered OTAs as the unquestioned starter at left guard. However, he left with the statement being made that the competition was wide open, and he was just another name in the mix.
Early in training camp, you could make the case that he is the third most likely player to start at left guard. First, Sala Aumavae-Laulu has clearly impressed coaches because he started with the first team from the jump. That is impressive for a day-three rookie, and it is why fans are surprised that Cleveland could not beat him.
The bigger issue is that when the Ravens run the second team, it is actually John Simpson and not Ben Cleveland, who is out there at left guard. Cleveland has been at right guard with the second team. That is behind Kevin Zeitler, so out of the competition. Considering Andrew Vorhees has a shot to be the long-term answer there, they are just using Cleveland there as a placeholder and to get him work. He is hardly even competing for the starting left guard spot.
Perhaps things can change, but this is the same momentum that started in OTAs, and it is has not stopped. John Simpson is officially ahead of Cleveland, who is the backup right guard, but the third-string left guard.