John Urschel, the Ravens starting left guard, is still not practicing due to a ‘contusion’. This has gone longer than expected, and the franchise may do something the NFL hasn’t seen in over two decades. The Ravens could play the first all-rookie left side of the line in 21 years.
To put this in perspective, the last time this happened the Ravens weren’t a franchise.
This isn’t something I personally am worried about, and John Harbaugh also doesn’t consider it a risk. Ronnie Stanley has embarrassed pass rushers, with only one pressure in his first three preseason games. In the mean time Alex Lewis holds his own. First let’s take this back to draft day and show what PFF had to say.
Alex Lewis had the 19th-best offensive tackle grade in 2015, but may translate better to guard in Baltimore. #RavensDraft— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 30, 2016
Baltimore isn’t being forced to play Alex Lewis on the inside, but instead values his size and skill towards growing as an NFL lineman. Remember, this is what the Ravens were expected to do with Stanley until he started dominating.
The Stanley-Lewis combo is quite the heavy package, both are 6’6” and push the scales past 300. Ronnie Stanley’s pass protection has dazzled, while Alex Lewis is another brick layer oppositions must chip away. Hard to imagine pass rushers finally getting around Ronnie and then figuring a way to also get away from Lewis before QB Joe Flacco has the ball out of his hands.
The Ravens have a slew of players capable of playing left guard. In my most recent 53 man roster prediction the Ravens have Ryan Jensen and Vladimir Ducasse as depth guards. Both are skilled and growing as professionals.
Both rookie lineman have everything except NFL experience, which can only happen from playing. If side-by-side they could grow the strongest chemistry possible. Expect the Ravens to have a strong fortress for Flacco & Company soon.