clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Left tackle is a concern for the Baltimore Ravens

New, comments
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It's the start of the 2015 NFL season, expectations are high and analysts are calling this Baltimore Ravens offensive line one of the best in the league. Then game one starts and left tackle Eugene Monroe hits the turf with a concussion. Enter James Hurst to take over, and from there it all goes downhill.

Through the first three games, running back Justin Forsett had only 124 yards on the ground on 39 rushes, giving him an average of 3.2 yards per carry. Through the first four games of the season, quarterback Joe Flacco had been sacked 7 times and been intercepted 5 times. All of this was with Hurst at the helm.

Eugene Monroe would return week 5 against the Cleveland Browns. In the 3 games since, quarterback Joe Flacco has been sacked 4 times and been intercepted twice. The run game has gotten better mainly due to games against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 4 and the Cleveland Browns in week 5, but in the last 3 games with Monroe back in the lineup, Justin Forsett only has 219 yards on 50 carries, for an average of 4.38 yards per carry. Let's also not forget that we have this little gem of effort from Monroe.

walk1

Just in case the lack of production could be pointed on other players on the offensive line, Ken McKusick, better known as FilmStudy hits us up with the grade for both Monroe and Hurst against the Arizona Cardinals, a game that Monroe would leave due to injury.

As if Monroe wasn't bad enough with an F grading against Arizona, the injury highlights another issue. Out of 7 games for Monroe to play in, he has only made a start in 4 of them and only played a couple of snaps in week 1 before the concussion. While no player can predict injuries or even do much to prevent them, it is a noticeable pattern for Monroe at this point.

In 2014, Monroe would only play in 11 games during the regular season. Depending on the severity of his shoulder injury, he could miss extended time yet again this season. For a player that has a cap hit of $31.8 million over the last two seasons, playing a maximum of 24 games equates out to $1.325 million per game as the best case scenario for the Ravens. With an F grade and being consistently injured, the Ravens will have to wonder in the offseason if he is worth the cash. A quick reminder that the Ravens will save roughly $2.1 million by cutting the 28 year old.

But then that leaves us with James Hurst at the left tackle spot. While significantly cheaper at only a $603,000 cap hit in 2016, he has been one of the worst linemen this season. According to Pro Football Focus, Hurst was the worst offensive tackle in the league this season with an overall rating of -24.5. Clearly Hurst isn't the answer moving forward.

With a likely top-10 draft pick coming up, the Ravens could use it to address the left tackle spot and free up some money by cutting or trading Eugene Monroe. Sadly for the Ravens, it will end up being a discussion that will come up.