One of the biggest shake-ups this offseason for the Ravens happened in the trenches, where Baltimore signed three veterans, traded one Pro Bowler and drafted a mountain.
There is only one starting position from last year that will have the same Week 1 starter – left tackle. Ronnie Stanley is expected to return during training camp and be ready for the regular-season opener.
The Ravens' first move was to upgrade at right guard by signing veteran Kevin Zeitler. After trading Pro Bowl right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. to Kansas City out of necessity, the Ravens replaced him with veteran Alejandro Villanueva.
Villanueva participated in all of the OTAs and minicamp and Zeitler was there for most of it. Both are still merging into the offense and Villanueva is adjusting to a switch from left tackle to right tackle, but both have impressed Head Coach John Harbaugh so far.
"Watching them play has been a pleasure," Harbaugh said after the last minicamp practice. "They're all ball, all the time – both of those guys. Whether it's meeting room, weight room, conditioning [or] on the field work – they're all ball, all the time. I love that about them. I think they're going to be a formidable tandem on the right side. I'm really pleased with them so far."
Bradley Bozeman has switched from left guard to center, where he's expected to become the starter. Harbaugh half-joked about keeping a close eye on his snaps after the Ravens had costly issues in that area the past couple season, but Bozeman is doing well.
"I love the transition back to center," Bozeman said. "I played since high school, really, and I've always felt like that was my strong suit. I've always felt like that's where I kind of dominate – in that tighter area. I'm a very intelligent person, I feel like – especially when it comes to football."
The biggest question on the offensive line moving forward is at left guard, where the competition for the starting job is "wide open," Harbaugh said. Third-round pick Ben Cleveland, third-year veteran Ben Powers and others are competing for that spot.
It's not like some other positions where who starts doesn't matter so much because there's a rotation. On the offensive line, the starter typically plays every snap. So far, it's too early to say who will win the job. As is the case with trench work, much will be determined once the pads come on.
"Nobody has separated at this point, but you're not going to separate in something like this," Harbaugh said. "But we've got candidates, for sure, and they're all high-level candidates. So, I'm excited about that and can't wait to see it play out. If you like football and you're a real student of the game, you'll be watching that left guard battle during training camp."