As packed as the Baltimore Ravens offense is following an extraordinary offseason full of additions, there are still some open questions to solve through the remainder of the summer and the pre-season part of the schedule.
The skill-position players and even roles are nearly set in stone. The wide receiver, running back, and tight end units are packed full of warm bodies and ready to go knowing where every one of their pieces fits in the grand scheme of things.
The offensive line of the Ravens, though, might have a little bit of a hole at the left guard spot.
So it makes sense to wonder: where do the Ravens go at left guard? That's exactly what Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus asked at the start of this week when he tackled the three most-pressing questions for the Ravens entering training camp.
"Former Raiders fourth-round pick John Simpson is the early favorite to win the job, but he’ll have to fend off Patrick Mekari and Ben Cleveland, among others."- Gordon McGuinness, PFF
As McGuinness wrote in his piece, Simpson is the "rumored favorite" to take over the starting LG role this early in the pre-season. However, things might be changing after a few days of training camp.
Following Day 1 of practice last Wednesday, July 26, John Harbaugh said that rookie Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu had "earned the right to get first-team reps as the left guard," as quoted by Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
That isn't anything crazy at this point, even more considering that Simpson, as pointed out by McGuinness in his story, only has one full season as a starter (in 2021 with the Las Vegas Raiders) and that he earned a 53.0 PFF grade back then, a rather mediocre, if not straight bad, mark.
"Simpson started the first two games of the 2022 season, producing a 67.9 PFF grade in the second of those outings," wrote McGuinness, adding that "perhaps he can continue to develop in Baltimore."
When discussing some alternatives, the PFF analyst mentioned former Oregon standout and Ravens late-round pick Aumavae-Laulu, labeling him " the surprise contender here."
Three days into camp and entering Saturday practices at M&T Bank Stadium, the latter seems to be the most probable scenario as far as we can tell at this point.