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Ravens Offensive Line Recap: Pre-Draft Edition

Photo of Orlando Brown Jr. and Ronnie Stanley together

In each installment of this series, we will take a look at a Baltimore Ravens position group and review it in preparation for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Coming up next in this series will be the Ravens offensive line.

Check out the other Ravens position group recaps. Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End and Fullback | Offensive Line | Defensive Line | Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Special Teams

Ravens Offensive Line Recap: The Players

Ronnie Stanley 6’6″, 315 pounds, 14 games, Tackle
2019– Started 14 games, zero sacks allowed, five penalties.

Orlando Brown Jr. 6’8″, 345 pounds, 16 games, Tackle
2019- Started 16 games, three sacks allowed, three penalties.

Andre Smith 6’4″, 330 pounds, six games, Tackle
2019– Started 5 games for the Bengals, three sacks allowed, four penalties.

Will Holden 6’7″, 313 pounds, zero games, Tackle
2019– Did not see any game action in 2019. Seven career starts for the Cardinals.


Bradley Bozeman 6’5″, 317 pounds, 16 games, Guard
2019- Started 16 games, four sacks allowed, six penalties.

Ben Powers 6’4″, 310 pounds, one game, Guard
2019- Zero starts. Did not see significant game action in 2019.

R.J. Prince 6’6″, 311 pounds, zero games, Guard
2019- Spent entire season on the Ravens’ practice squad. Did not see any game action in 2019.

Matt Skura 6’3″, 313 pounds, 11 games, Center
2019- Started 11 games, one sack allowed, two penalties.

Patrick Mekari 6’4″, 308 pounds, 11 games, Center/Guard
2019- Started five games, zero sacks allowed, four penalties.

Group Overview

Boasting one of the highest-rated offensive lines in the NFL, this group was phenomenal in 2019. Leading the way to an NFL team record 3296 rushing yards, this group opened up massive holes all season long. In addition to their fantastic work in the run game, the Ravens’ offensive line also held up extremely well in the passing game. With Lamar Jackson only being sacked 23 times all year, this unit held their own against some of the NFL’s top pass rushers. That being said, the loss of future Hall of Fame guard Marshal Yanda hurts a lot. Choosing to retire this offseason, Yanda has left a massive hole on the right side of the Ravens line. One of the very best at guard over the past decade, the Ravens will have their work cut out for them in trying to replace his production this season.

The Starters

Ronnie Stanley has developed into the unquestioned star of this group. An absolute mauler on the left side, Stanley is perfectly suited to protect Jackson’s blindside. Orlando Brown Jr. is developing into a monster on the right side of the line. A 2018 third-round draft pick, Brown earned himself the starting right tackle job quickly and never looked back. Bradley Bozeman is quickly coming into his own at left guard. Bozeman more than held his own after grabbing the starting job last offseason. Matt Skura was having a great season before his injury. Skura has been rehabbing his knee all offseason in hopes of returning to his starting center role. Patrick Mekari stepped in for Skura and performed very well. If Skura is not able to return at the beginning of the season, Mekari is more than capable of filling in at center.

The Supporting Cast

Andre Smith is a veteran back up that offers an emergency stopgap in case of an injury. Ben Powers possesses the most potential of this group to take the next step in 2020. He will certainly be in competition for the starting right guard spot this offseason. Will Holden has NFL starting experience, which is always a plus for a backup. A fifth-round draft pick in 2017, Holden has bounced around to 6 different teams since being drafted and will be looking to make a home for himself in Baltimore. R.J. Prince has the size you would want from a guard. Prince will be competing for snaps at a very thin guard position in hopes of earning a spot on the Ravens’ active roster.

Draft Expectations

2020 NFL Draft image

Needs

With Yanda entering retirement, guard quickly became one of the Ravens’ top needs heading into the draft. In addition to finding a potential starter at guard, the Ravens are in need of some quality offensive line depth. With the release of multitool James Hurst this offseason, the Ravens will be hoping to find a backup that can line up at multiple positions across the line.

What To Expect:

The Ravens will undoubtedly look to add an interior offensive lineman early. Ravens fans should expect a potential starter at guard being drafted within the first three rounds. Look for the Ravens to also use either their fifth or their seventh-round pick on a developmental prospect that has potential at multiple positions across the offensive line.

Early-round targets: Cesar Ruiz, Robert Hunt, Jonah Jackson, Shane Lemieux
Developmental targets: Hakeem Adeniji, Cameron Clark, Michael Onwenu

Ravens Offensive Line Group Grade

Overall Grade: B
If not for the loss of Yanda to retirement, this group would have earned a higher grade. The Ravens’ offensive line paved the way for a historic rushing attack that broke a 41-year-old NFL record for team rushing yards in a season. This offensive line also successfully kept Lamar Jackson healthy the entire season en route to his Most Valuable Player award. The loss of Yanda will be very tough to overcome. It is never easy to replace a future Hall of Fame player. Nevertheless, Ravens fans can feel a little more at ease knowing four out of five of Jackson’s protectors will be returning.

Tackle

The Ravens possess one of the best young left tackles in the game in Ronnie Stanley. With Orlando Brown quickly developing into a stud at right tackle, the Ravens have to be very pleased with their tackles going into 2020. With the addition of veteran tackle Andre Smith as a backup, the Ravens’ tackle group is in great shape.

Guards

Guard is the offensive line’s biggest question mark heading into 2020. Bradley Bozeman is developing into a great young guard. However, there are a lot of questions behind him at the position. Ben Powers offers a lot of potential at the position, but it is not clear if he is ready to fill Yanda’s shoes just yet. With no certified starter at right guard, this group has a lot to prove in 2020 and is the reason for the offensive line’s drop in grade.

Center

The Ravens have two starting-caliber centers on the roster in Skura and Mekari. Even though Skura suffered a major injury in 2019, there is little reason to believe he won’t return to form in 2020. When Skura went down, Mekari showed he can step in admirably. The Ravens should be happy with their centers heading into 2020.


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Jeff Swartz MMA
Jeff Swartz is a combat sports writer and editor for Overtimeheroics.net. With a focus on Sparta Sports and Entertainment, Jeff also covers major combat sports promotions like the UFC, Bellator, ONE, World Lethwei Championship, and much more! Jeff also occasionally writes pieces about the Baltimore Ravens NFL team.
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