Two years ago, the Baltimore Ravens raised a lot of eyebrows among fans when they selected tackle Ronnie Stanley out of Notre Dame with the sixth overall pick. With this being one of the team’s highest selections ever in the draft, many wanted to see the Ravens take an impact player who would be an immediate difference maker for a team that finished just 5-11 in 2015.
Stanley has progressed nicely, allowing just three sacks in his first two seasons to become the team’s second-best offensive lineman behind six time Pro Bowl selection and two time First-Team All-Pro Marshal Yanda. After the retirement of Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden, the Ravens went through a carousel at left tackle with players like Michael Oher, Eugene Monroe, Bryant McKinnie, and Jared Gaither unsuccessfully filling the void. In his first two years in Baltimore, Stanley has shown he is the caliber of player the Ravens have spent a decade looking for to man the position.
In the 2018 season, Stanley will look to further elevate his game and take the next step in his development. Stanley has a tough task in front of him to protect Joe Flacco and the running game this year. He will be facing a fully healthy Myles Garrett twice, the Denver Broncos duo of Bradley Chubb and Von Miller, Khalil Mack, Cameron Jordan, Vic Beasley, and the Los Angeles Chargers duo of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
Like many young offensive lineman, Stanley has mostly fallen under the radar early in his career. However, if Stanley succeeds against the formidable group of pass rushers he will compete against this season, then he may finally receive the notoriety that he has deserved. While he will have some competition, if the Ravens offensive line continues its momentum from last year with Stanley and Yanda leading the charge, then it could be enough to get Stanley his first Pro Bowl appearance.