When it comes to the offensive line, the Ravens are in an interesting spot. Their line was relatively dominant over the second half of last season, however, they were inconsistent early in the season and exposed in the playoff loss to the Chargers.
With Ronnie Stanley, Orlando Brown Jr, and Marshal Yanda in the fold, the Ravens have 3/5 penciled in at both tackle spots and right guard. The question becomes, what direction does the team go at left guard and center? If the Ravens want to build a dominant offensive line to bolster the rushing attack, upgrading these interior spots needs to be a priority.
There was a time when Alex Lewis appeared to be a long-term option at guard but injuries have hampered his effectiveness. James Hurst is a quality depth guy but struggles at times in a starting role, as does Matt Skura, who started all 16 games at center last season. Bradley Bozeman showed promise his rookie season and could potentially be in-line for a shot at a starting spot next season.
The Ravens could potentially use their 22nd overall selection to draft an offensive lineman or wait until the middle rounds to see who slips into their range. Here are the top guys they should be looking at.
1) Cody Ford (G), Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s offensive line was nothing short of dominant last season and Cody Ford, the best player of the group, was a big reason why. Pairing him up with his former teammate, Orlando Brown Jr, makes a lot of sense. Ford is the best guard prospect in this draft, although some see him as more of a tackle, and should he slip to the 22nd pick, he could step in as a plug-and-play starter for the Ravens.
I’d try him at tackle first, but if not, I think Cody Ford can be a high-level starter at guard.— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) April 19, 2019
Definition of nasty and a tone setter. pic.twitter.com/lU2tbBHsvX
2) Garrett Bradbury (C), North Carolina St.
After a strong showing at the scouting combine, Garrett Bradbury’s draft stock has been on the rise in recent months. Bradbury is a natural center and the top of his class in this draft. He won the Rimington trophy last season, an award given to the nation’s top center. Bradbury is an above-average athlete, possesses good discipline and technique, and has a high motor. Immediate upgrade over Skura and other incumbent center options.
3) Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
Questions over his potential schematic fit exist here, but there’s no denying the talent of Chris Lindstrom. Capable of playing three positions on the offensive line, Lindstrom is at his best at the guard position, where he utilizes his athleticism and scrappiness to win battles in the trenches. Lindstrom thrives in space and has several years of starting experience under his belt.
Chris Lindstrom is receiving a lot of First Round buzz, and rightfully so. pic.twitter.com/Rx1kigtXtO— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 20, 2019
4) Erik McCoy (C/G)
Mocked to the Ravens by Mel Kiper a few weeks ago, it’s unclear exactly what range Erik McCoy will find himself in the draft. However, he’s widely-regarded as the best center prospect after Bradbury, and can also hold his own at guard. The Ravens covet versatility on the offensive line, making McCoy a great option if they miss out on the top guys.
5) Elgton Jenkins (C/G), Mississippi St.
Much like Lindstrom, Elgton Jenkins is versatile. However, he has more experience playing center than guard, as he started 25 games at that spot over the past two seasons. Jenkins struggles at times with inconsistencies in his technique, but he has the frame and tools to be successful in the pros. Jenkins is potentially a good target in the third round.
Notable exclusions: Connor McGovern, Ben Powers
What are your thoughts on these interior offensive line prospects and which guys would you like to see the Ravens draft? Leave your thoughts down below and stay tuned for a final positional big board coming tomorrow!