The Ravens can cross another item of need off their list.
Baltimore addressed the offensive line by selecting Oklahoma offensive guard Ben Powers in the fourth round at pick No. 123. The 6-foot-4, 307-pounder gives the Ravens another downhill blocker along the offensive line.
“He’s a physical, smart, tough, three-year starter at Oklahoma,” Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. “He’s a really dependable player.”
Powers continues the pipeline of Oklahoma players to Baltimore, as the Ravens added wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in the first round Thursday night. The Ravens also selected offensive lineman Orlando Brown Jr. and tight end Mark Andrews last year, and have Oklahoma alum Tony Jefferson on defense.
Hortiz joked that Oklahoma is the “new Alabama” for the Ravens, which isn’t far off considering the Ravens have now drafted 11 players from each school.
Adding offensive players from Oklahoma isn’t a bad idea considering the way they’ve lit up the college football landscape in recent years. Oklahoma has been an NFL factory in recent years – they’ve had the No. 1 overall picks the last two drafts – and Powers was one of four Sooner linemen drafted this year.
“Obviously they’re putting a bunch of guys out the last few years, and we’ve just been fortunate that it’s fallen our way,” Hortiz said. “The mentality they create there, the offensive style they run, that fits what we’re doing here in Baltimore.”
Powers was a three-year starter at Oklahoma with a physical attitude that defined the Sooners’ offensive line and Brown showed in Baltimore last year. The two former Sooners are great friends, and Brown was actually with Powers when the pick was made.
Powers joked that Brown yelled louder than him when General Manager Eric DeCosta made the phone call.
The offensive guard has a 'dog mentality,' and he'll bring physicality to Baltimore's offensive line.
“He’s one of my best friends and to have him with me in Baltimore is something that we’ve talked about playing together for a long time,” Brown said. “For it actually to come true, it’s a blessing.”
Like Brown, Powers is known for his physical mentality on the football field. They both finish blocks and aren’t afraid to get in the face of a defender.
“We take pride in finishing guys,” Powers said. “We take pride in playing hard and physical, and that’s something we all care about.”
Powers will now enter a competition at left guard along with James Hurst and Alex Lewis. The Ravens wanted to add competition to the mix for that spot, and that’s exactly what Powers will give them.
“He’s going to come in and compete, and we’ll make a decision which guy gets out there and starts,” Hortiz said.
Beyond the player himself, the pick was special for the Ravens because of how the selection was made. Mo Gaba, 13, is a local Ravens fan battling cancer who is blind, and he became the first person to ever announce an NFL pick while reading it in Braille.
“Watching in that draft room, it was a lot of fun and an emotional moment,” Hortiz said.