Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Could Ravens rookie OT Kelechi Osemele turn out to be the next "Jonathan Ogden" at left tackle?
It's almost unfair to compare a young rookie with a sure-to-be Hall of Famer. Baltimore Ravens right tackle Kelechi Osemele has four games under his belt in his brief NFL career. Former Ravens LT Jonathan Ogden played 177 games in his 12-year NFL career. JO was named All-Pro nine times and selected to eleven Pro Bowls. At 6'9" and 345 pounds, he was big enough and fast enough to stop virtually anything any defensive lineman did to try to get around him.
Osemele would be a steal if he turns out to be half as good as Ogden. Kelechi was the Ravens second 2nd round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. There was a question as to whether he might start at left guard when he was drafted but with head coach John Harbaugh's dissatisfaction with Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, Michael Oher was moved from the right to left side, opening the door for Kelechi to start at right tackle.
Through four games, people are seeing how solid KO is beginning to look, with the same sort of combination that made Ogden a star for over a decade. While not quite as big as JO, KO stands 6'5" and 333 pounds, certainly big enough to one day move to the left side of the line.
Will the Ravens ante up and pay Michael Oher the big bucks that are being given to left tackles in the NFL or will they try to either move him back to the right side of let him walk? Oher is signed through the 2013 season, so they do not have to decide this year or even next.
At the same time, if Osemele continues his progression from a wide-eyed rookie to a starter from the moment he walked onto the field in the regular season, he could easier be considered for that move next year or the following season. Remember, Ogden started his NFL career at left guard before laying claim to the left tackle position for the next eleven years.
Kelechi's athletic ability along with his sheer size already has drawn comparisons to the future Pro Football Hall of Fame nominee. There is no reason Osemele can't put on a few more pounds of muscle to bulk up even more. Another year or so of experience and the team will know what they have for the future on their offensive line and then will determine how his future will also affect Michael Oher's as well.