In this series, I will be analyzing each of the Ravens 2019 draft picks and predicting what fans should reasonably expect from each player during their second season.
With their second pick in last year’s fourth round, Baltimore selected guard Ben Powers out of Oklahoma. Powers entered the competition for the left guard spot, but lost to second-year man Bradley Bozeman. Powers wouldn’t end up seeing the field until Week 17 in a virtually meaningless game against the Steelers, although he played quite well in his debut against a very good defensive line.
Going into his second year, Powers once again enters into competition for a starting spot along the offensive line, this time for the void left at right guard by the retirement of the illustrious Marshal Yanda. Other players competing for the position include veteran D.J. Fluker, and rookies Ben Bredeson and Tyre Phillips.
Fluker is the only player with experience among the group, so it’s likely that he will receive the start to begin the season. Rookies rarely start out of the gate for Baltimore, especially on the offensive line, so Powers should have a slight advantage over Bredeson and Phillips.
There has been talk of moving Bozeman to center, where he played at in college at Alabama, in place of Patrick Mekari. Mekari took over for Matt Skura as an undrafted rookie when Skura suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 12 against the Rams.
While Mekari performed admirably, Bozeman might provide an upgrade at the position if Skura is unable to start the season. If this happens, then Powers could be the favorite to start at left guard with Bozeman at center and Fluker at right guard.
I predict that either Skura or Mekari will remain at center, however, and that Bozeman and Fluker will start at both guard positions with Powers as the immediate backup.