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Kelechi Osemele departure doesn't mean the Ravens should draft a LT in 1st round of 2016 NFL Draft

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Just because Baltimore Ravens offensive guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele is leaving for more money in free agency, doesn't mean that the Ravens should draft an offensive lineman with its sixth pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. To be blunt, I would feel that it would be a waste of a draft pick.

I keep saying this over and over and I will say it again. The Ravens were not 5-11 last season because their offensive line was bad. The Ravens were 5-11 because its defense gave up fourth quarter leads against the Oakland Raiders, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars. If the Ravens keep those leads in the fourth quarter, that's a 9-7 record.

The Ravens have had inconsistencies along the offensive line ever since Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was hired at the position in 2008. Think about it because the Ravens have made the playoffs six times in eight seasons with inconsistencies along the offensive line especially at left tackle.

Let's look at the revolving door at the left tackle position since 2008:

  • 2008: Jared Gaither- starting left tackle plays all 16 games
  • 2009: Jared Gaither plays 11 games, Michael Oher starts five games in his place
  • 2010: Michael Oher started all 16 games
  • 2011: Bryant McKinnie started all 16 games
  • 2012: Oher started all 16 games
  • 2013: Revolving door of McKinnie and Eugene Monroe
  • 2014: Revolving door of Monroe and James Hurst
  • 2015: Revolving door of Monroe and James Hurst

Rest of the offensive line since 2008:

  • Former Ravens left guard Ben Grubbs was replaced by Osemele.
  • Former Ravens center Jason Brown was replaced by Matt Birk. Birk was replaced by Gino Gradkowski. Gradkowski was replaced by Jeremy Zuttah.
  • Right tackle Willie Anderson was replaced by Oher. Oher and McKinnie would be revolving doors at the positions for three seasons while Ricky Wagner would eventually replace both of them.
Right guard Marshal Yanda is the only player who has kept his starting spot. Yanda only leaves the right guard position when there is an injury to himself or another player being hurt on the offensive line and he has to play right tackle.

The 2015 season was the first time in Ravens history that all five starters were brought back at the same spot in back to back seasons and that didn't turn out well due to injuries and under performance.

The sixth overall pick should be all about defense. One thing is for sure, the Ravens have never made the playoffs when its defense plays a part in allowing over 25 points a game the way it did during the 2015 season.

The offensive line is not something that should be addressed very early especially when you consider left guard Ryan Jensen who played very well during the time Osemele was out due to injuries and even posted a +7.4 grade from Pro Football Focus against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

You don't draft offensive linemen who will be starting at guard with the sixth overall pick which is where Ronnie Stanley and Laremy Tunsil would probably start to begin their careers if selected by the Ravens. There are other rounds in the NFL draft where a need on the offensive line can be addressed. But not on the first day.