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Sophomore predictions: Nico Siragusa

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This series breaks down the players selected by Baltimore in the 2017 NFL Draft and opportunities for improvement in their second NFL season.

The last player we had a look at was Tim Williams, outside linebacker selected by the Ravens in the third round. Next up is the first of only two offensive players drafted by Baltimore in 2017, offensive guard Nico Siragusa.

Siragusa was selected in the fourth round with pick 122. He was a four-year starter in college and earned first-team All Mountain West honors in his last two years at San Diego State. Siragusa played a big role in running back Donnell Pumphrey setting the NCAA career rushing record.

Siragusa’s biggest strength is his run blocking. At six-foot-four and 319 pounds, his nasty run blocking ability fits a power run team like the Ravens. Unfortunately, Siragusa missed his entire rookie season after tearing his ACL, MCL and PCL in training camp. The severity of the injury left some questioning whether Siragusa would ever play football again. However, he returned to the field this offseason and will compete for a spot on the offensive line.

There are only two positions that Siragusa could play for Baltimore this season. The left guard and center spots are open for competition, though James Hurst or Alex Lewis will most likely start at left guard. This leaves center as Siragusa’s best chance to join the starting lineup. Matt Skura is currently the favorite to win the center job, though a strong training camp and preseason could tip the scales in Siragusa’s favor.

My prediction is that Siragusa will remain a backup for this season, which isn’t a bad thing considering this will essentially be his rookie year. With one injury at the guard or center position, Siragusa could see significant playing time in 2018 for the Ravens.