The Competition: Tackles


*"The Competition" is a series that will break down every position leading up to training camp. *

Returning Players

Michael Oher (6-foot-4, 315 pounds, fourth season): Oher has been a reliable and versatile force on Baltimore's offensive line. He has yet to miss a start and can flip between right and left tackle. Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron said Oher is going from good to great.

Bryant McKinnie (6-8, 360, eleventh season): McKinnie was a strong pass blocker last year, but the Ravens would like to see him bend and move better to improve in run blocking. In order to do that and stay healthy, McKinnie was held out of minicamp practice, has been shedding pounds and reportedly needs to shed nine more.

Jah Reid (6-7, 335, second season): Reid was active for all 16 games last season, but saw time almost exclusively as an extra blocker in jumbo packages. After bulking up his rookie season, Reid looked strong in Organized Team Activities (OTAs) before missing some time with a reported strained back.

Ramon Harewood (6-6, 340, third season): Knee surgeries kept Harewood on injured reserve for his first two NFL seasons. Now back on the field, the once raw, yet physically gifted, sixth-round prospect from Division III Morehouse has to catch up to his peers.


Kelechi Osemele (6-5, 333, Iowa State): The second-round pick is also largely in the mix to play left guard, but he could swing to right tackle. He's been learning both positions. Osemele is massive and has loads of brute strength. He impressed immediately in OTAs, but missed minicamp due to a reported minor leg injury.

Paul Madsen (6-4, 309, Colorado State): Claimed off waivers after initially signing with the Buffalo Bills, the undrafted rookie free agent played and started 11 games as a senior, garnering second-team, all-conference honors at Colorado State.

Jack Cornell (6-6, 315, Illinois):The rookie free agent played in 29 career games at Illinois, making 19 starts, including 13 as a guard. He was named a team captain as a senior in 2011, and was the recipient of the team's Red Grange Award for dedication.

Position Battle

A lot of what happens at this position hinges on McKinnie. As long as he is on the roster – and Head Coach John Harbaugh has said he wants him to be – he'll be at left tackle. The veteran didn't practice with the team during minicamp because the Ravens wanted McKinnie to focus on dropping weight and getting down to where he was as a Pro Bowler with Minnesota.

Oher is interchangeable at both positions and is more than capable of handling left tackle duties as he did in 2010. Reid began the offseason as the leader to be the next starter at left guard, but with the drafting of Osemele and especially the signing of veteran Bobbie Williams, Reid mainly shifted back to right tackle.

Osemele is another versatile piece. If Oher moved to left tackle, the rookie and Reid would be the chief competitors at right tackle. Harewood will have to improve in training camp, as he struggled at times during minicamp. He's still learning the game, however, and is a player the team would like to develop when he's healthy.

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