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Rookie Tackle Alex Lewis Could Thrive At Left Guard


The Ravens have an open spot on their offensive line after left guard Kelechi Osemele signed a $58.5 million contract with the Oakland Raiders this offseason.

Several players are eying up that starting job, and it will be one of the few positions totally up for grabs this summer. John Urschel, Ryan Jensen and first-round pick Ronnie Stanley could all find themselves competing for snaps at the spot.

But the player best suited for the spot might just be fourth-round pick Alex Lewis.

"There's a learning curve at playing guard, but I'm excited and think I could really thrive at that position," Lewis said. "I'm ready to play some football."

The Ravens took the Nebraska lineman in the fourth round after he started the last two seasons at left tackle. Prior to transferring to Nebraska, Lewis started an entire season at left guard for Colorado.

"O-line is o-line," Lewis said. "I grew up always playing five different spots. The more positions you can play, the more versatile you are."

Moving to guard after spending the last two years at tackle would not necessarily be a major change for Lewis. He has a good football background because his father was also an offensive lineman who spent seven years in the NFL.

His dad played for the Patriots, Rams and Cardinals, and he stressed to his son the importance of playing multiple positions.

"He's been there, done it," Lewis said. "So if I want to get there, I have to listen to him and I have to take his advice."

The Ravens got an early look at what Lewis can do at guard by having him work there during last week's rookie minicamp.

Lewis, 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds, has the exact build the Ravens want at the position. He is bigger than Urschel (6-3, 305) or Jensen (6-4, 310), and that size helps push around the big bodies in the middle of defensive lines.

A significant variable in what happens at the position depends on what the Ravens end up doing with veteran left tackle Eugene Monroe. They could decide to part ways with him and have Stanley start at left tackle from Week 1.

But if they hold onto Monroe, he will likely be in the starting lineup. Stanley could then slide over to left guard, and the Ravens have said they are open to exploring that option.

If Stanley ends up starting at left tackle, then the Ravens could have a pair of rookies protecting quarterback Joe Flacco's blindside.

"That'd be a really cool experience," Lewis said. "Ronnie and I mesh well. We're roommates at rookie minicamp. He's a great athlete, smart kid, and it will be cool to see what this future holds for us."

Lewis knows he has a long way to go before earning a spot in the starting lineup. Urschel and Jensen have both started games at guard and have experience under their belt, and by no means will Lewis get the spot handed to him.  

"I just have a chance to play football. That's how I look at it, whether it's starting or not," Lewis said. "I'd love to be in that starting lineup, don't get me wrong. But at the end of the day, they're going to put the best five in there that can win them the most games, and hopefully I can be part of that."

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