The Ravens closed out their 2023 NFL Draft class with a strong offensive lineman they can develop in Malaesala "Sala" Aumavae-Laulu out of Oregon in the sixth round.
Standing in at 6-foot-5, 317 pounds, Aumavae-Laulu is a very powerful blocker with a history of forklifting defenders. He takes pride in being a physical, punishing offensive lineman.
"[He is] a very, very large offensive lineman," General Manager Eric DeCosta said. "A very, very good athlete for his size. [He] can pull, can play on his feet. We look at him as a real strong developmental guy. [He has] a lot of upside potential."
Aumavae-Laulu was a three-year starter at Oregon. He played a team-high 902 offensive snaps, including 878 at right tackle and 24 at right guard. One question as he enters the NFL will be whether he stays at tackle or moves inside to guard.
The Ravens have an open starting spot at left guard after Ben Powers left for Denver in free agency, which will make for a strong competition this offseason primarily among Patrick Mekari, John Simpson and Ben Cleveland.
Aumavae-Laulu is another intriguing player Baltimore Offensive Line Coach Joe D'Allessandris can develop, along with second-year tackle Daniel Faalele. The Ravens drafted Aumavae-Laulu on D'Allessandris' birthday.
"In most cases, we're going to try to draft an offensive lineman every year if we can," DeCosta said. "We just think it's good, and you like to have that pipeline of guys every single year, the younger players. 'Joe D' does an amazing job developing offensive linemen for us."
Aumavae-Laulu grew up in Alaska before his family moved to Las Vegas so he would have a better chance of being recruited. He started out in junior college at Navarro College in Texas and built a strong reputation. He was the No. 1 offensive tackle among JUCO recruits in the 2019 class and No. 5 overall.
All the big programs such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, USC and others went after Aumavae-Laulu, but he knew he wanted to go to Oregon. He originally declared for the 2022 NFL Draft but changed his mind and returned for a sixth season in 2022. He'll turn 24 next month.