John Harbaugh Outlines Left Guard Competition

(From left to right) G Patrick Mekari, G Ben Cleveland, G John Simpson, G Daniel Faalele

There's an open competition for the Ravens' starting job at left guard next season, after the departure of Ben Powers to Denver during free agency.

Head Coach John Harbaugh gave an early outline of the team's options during the NFL League Meetings in Phoenix.

Harbaugh said the Ravens had multiple options to choose from. Veteran Patrick Mekari can play any position on the offensive line. Ben Cleveland will be vying for a bigger role in his third season. John Simpson, who has made 21 career starts with the Raiders, was signed to a reserve/future contract in January.

"Pat Mekari is going to be in the mix, for sure," Harbaugh said. "Pat can start at anytime and anywhere, basically, so he's going to want to do that.

"Ben Cleveland, obviously, is a young guy that we're bringing along. We've brought some guys in. We got a veteran guy at the end of the year that we brought in from [Las Vegas] – John Simpson – who I think is going to surprise some people. He's had a nice offseason so far."

An intriguing possibility Harbaugh mentioned is second-year lineman Daniel Faalele, who played 170 snaps at tackle as a rookie. The 6-foot-8, 380-pound Faalele would certainly add even more size to Baltimore's offensive line. Faalele made significant strides during his rookie season after improving his stamina and technique, and the fourth-round pick has impressive athleticism.

"We could move Daniel Faalele in there, too, and take a look at him," Harbaugh said. "I think those are all possibilities and may the best player who plays the best win the job."

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