Training Camp Competition: Offensive Line

(From left to right) G Tyre Phillips, G Ben Cleveland, G Ben Powers

As we prepare for the start of training camp on July 27, here's a look at how each position group is shaping up:

In the Hunt

  • Ronnie Stanley
  • Morgan Moses
  • Kevin Zeitler
  • Tyler Linderbaum
  • Patrick Mekari
  • Ben Cleveland
  • Tyre Phillips
  • Ben Powers
  • Ja'Wuan James
  • Daniel Faalele
  • Trystan Colon
  • Jimmy Murray
  • Kahlil McKenzie
  • Jaryd Jones-Smith

Projected Starters

The Ravens can pencil in four of their five offensive line starters right now. Assuming Stanley is ready to go after his ankle rehab, he'll be the starting left tackle. Free-agent addition Moses will be the starting right tackle. Zeitler will man right guard, and rookie first-round pick Linderbaum will be at center. If Stanley isn't ready to play Week 1, things get more complicated. James could step in at left tackle, or perhaps Moses could kick to that side. Either way, the Ravens are in a better position than they were last season without Stanley.

Best Battle

The real competition on the offensive line is at left guard. That will be one of the best in camp considering whoever wins will probably be slated for 100% of the offensive snaps. Four players figure into that mix: Mekari, Cleveland, Phillips and Powers. Any one of them could pull it out.

Mekari's primary strength is his versatility, so the Ravens may want him as their sixth offensive lineman ready to step in wherever instead of locking him into one spot. However, if he's one of the best five offensive linemen, it would be tough to keep him on the sideline until an injury. Phillips won the job out of training camp last year but suffered an injury in Week 1 and has bounced between injuries and playing right tackle to fill in for others. The Ravens drafted Cleveland in the third round last year envisioning that he would take over as a starter at some point, and he finished last season as such. But he's also dealt with injuries that have kept him out of games and practice. Powers has started 19 games the past two seasons, so he holds the experience advantage.

Under the Radar

The Ravens have enough veteran depth at tackle with Stanley, Moses, James and Mekari that they could probably give Faalele, the fourth-round rookie, a redshirt season if they wanted. The hulking 6-foot-8, 380-pound blocker is looking to get into better NFL shape and sharpen his tools. However, Head Coach John Harbaugh said of Faalele," he going to play this year, there's no doubt about it." It will be interesting to see how quickly Faalele can get up to speed and whether the Ravens could use him as an extra point-of-attack mauler in some situations.

Related Content