"The Competition" is a series that breaks down every position battle leading up to training camp.
- Eugene Monroe (6-foot-5, 300 pounds; 7th season)
- Rick Wagner (6-6, 310; 3rd season)
- Jah Reid (6 -7, 320; 5th season)
- James Hurst (6-5, 308; 2nd season)
- Marcel Jones (6-7, 320; 2nd season)
- Darryl Baldwin (6-6, 307; undrafted)
- Blaine Clausell (6-7, 315; undrafted)
- De'Ondre Wesley (6-7, 330; undrafted)
Monroe and Wagner will be the starters as long as they're healthy.
Knee and ankle injuries knocked Monroe out of seven games last season, including both playoff contests. Baltimore dubbed him their franchise left tackle with a five-year deal worth a reported $37.5 million last offseason. Now they need him to stay healthy and play to that level. He did not participate in Organized Team Activities (OTAs), but reported to mandatory camp in good shape and practiced throughout.
Wagner was one of the league's best right tackles and earned national praise before suffering a season-ending foot injury in Week 16. That held him out of OTAs and minicamp, but Wagner is expected to be back for training camp.
Key Role Players
Hurst stepped in admirably for Monroe during the season games he was sidelined. The North Carolina product was one of two undrafted rookies to make last year's squad. He got thrown into the fire and had some troubles at times but more than held his own at one of the game's toughest and most important positions. Hurst has developed his technique and is more experienced heading into Year 2.
Most Anticipated Battle
There's perhaps room for one more offensive tackle behind Monroe, Wagner and Hurst. Hurst has spent his entire career on the left side, so somebody could step in and win a backup job at right tackle. That's not a guaranteed spot, however, because guard Marshal Yanda could kick out to tackle in a pinch, as he did down the final stretch last season.
Reid would seemingly have the edge considering he has starting experience, although that was in 2012 and at guard. Reid was re-signed to a one-year deal this offseason, so the organization still sees potential in the oft-injured former third-round pick. An undrafted rookie could make a push like Hurst did last year. Clausell reportedly got the biggest signing bonus of all the team's undrafted targets.
The Ravens have their starting offensive tackles back for another season to protect Joe Flacco.