Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz sat down to discuss prospects at several positions of need leading up to next month's draft. This is the fourth installment of a five-part series:defensive linemen, inside linebackers and safeties.
The Ravens like their youth on the offensive line, but they could use* *more.
Veteran Bryant McKinnie finished the year as the Ravens' starting left tackle and is now an unrestricted free agent. If he doesn't return, Baltimore may be looking for a tackle of the future.
The Ravens could slide Michael Oher back to left tackle, where he played most of the year. Or they could draft a left tackle to take over the position for years to come.
Here's Hortiz's take on five prospects who could be possibilities for the Ravens:
D.J. Fluker, Florida StateJunior; 6-foot-5, 339 pounds, 14 starts at right tackle
"He really looks like he has a couple Volkswagons on his feet when he's running. Big hands, big feet, just a big man. He's naturally big and plays big, plays physical."
- Suited for the right, power side of the line
- Looks to be assertive in the run game
- Absorbs guys in the pass game
- Lost about 19 pounds before the combine, so he's made a commitment to getting in shape
Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
Senior; 6-6, 303, 11 starts at left tackle
"He wrecked the combine. To me, he's one of the combine's stars."
- Former quarterback at Kilgore Junior College who converted to tight end at Oklahoma, then added defensive end duties
- Moved to the offensive line in the spring of 2011 and struggled at right tackle; played both right and left tackle in 2012
- Improved in his career, but still has some developing to do from a strength standpoint as well as understanding angles and pass sets
- Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds, the second-fastest among all linemen
Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Senior; 6-5, 306, 12 starts at left tackle
"He definitely has helped himself over the course of the all-star process and the combine."
- Had Division I football scholarship offers but went to Arkansas Pine-Bluff so he could also do shot put in track and field
- Put on a display at the combine in the sense of a big man running fast (broke the 40-yard dash combine record for offensive linemen at 4.71 seconds)
- Not as polished as an athlete or mover;* *he's got a little stiffness
- Had a good week at the East-West Shrine game, but had a baptism by fire at the Senior Bowl after showing up mid-week
Kyle Long, Oregon
Senior; 6-6, 313, started 10 games at left tackle
"He obviously has the pedigree from his Hall of Fame father and All-Pro brother, but he just doesn't have the big-game experience. He didn't even start one full season in Division I college. He'll have some technical growing to do."
- Son of Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long and brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long
- He was a left-handed pitcher at Florida State who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox
- Played defensive end, then moved to offensive tackle in two years at Saddlebrook Junior College
- Battle an ankle injury at Oregon, then worked in a rotation for much of the year
Manelik Watson, Florida StateJunior; 6-5, 310, started 12 games at right tackle
"Football is definitely his background. It's not deep. It's a shallow pool of information and knowledge. He'll get better just because he doesn't know enough. What he is right now is a big, athletic, talented guy who is very raw."
- Hails from Manchester, England, where he had a tough upbringing
- Joined a traveling basketball team in Spain and went on a two-year tour of the United States, then played basketball at Marist College
- Boxed after basketball, then fell in love with football after watching the Seminoles play
- Would have been good to see him with another year of college football experience