Mailbag: Will Tyre Phillips Win Starting Left Guard Job?

G Tyre Phillips

Downing: Let's start by addressing the Tyre Phillips piece of this question. I do think there is value in putting him at a specific spot and keeping him there, rather than rotating him around the offensive line to get practice reps at just about every position. Phillips is a talented player who can be a quality starter at left guard, and he's probably the favorite in my mind to win that job going into training camp. Phillips has played both guard and tackle during his first two NFL seasons, and that versatility is valuable. Injuries also played a part in needing to move him around the line. But it's difficult for a young player to get comfortable if he's constantly moving around, and I think Phillips could blossom this season by sticking at left guard. That job won't be handed to him, as Ben Cleveland, Ben Powers and Patrick Mekari will all push for snaps on this revamped offensive line.

Now in terms of Cleveland, he's still very much in that mix at left guard. Phillips may have a slight edge right now, but Cleveland could still win that job with a stellar training camp and preseason. Veteran right guard Kevin Zeitler is also signed through the 2023 season, so the Ravens won't necessarily have a vacancy at that spot next season. The overall goal for the Ravens is to get the best five players on the offensive line this year, and training camp will be a chance to determine who exactly that group is.

Brown: That's a good question. Chris Board, who played the third-most snaps at inside linebacker last year, is now with the Detroit Lions. Meanwhile, the Ravens have so much talent in the secondary, it wouldn't shock me to see them use a ton of packages that feature extra defensive backs and fewer inside linebackers. Malik Harrison and Kristian Welch will have to earn defensive snaps, and this will be a huge training camp for any inside linebacker who's looking to earn time alongside Queen or Bynes. Stopping the run is always a top priority in Baltimore, and Harrison is a big hitter who showed promise in 2020 as a third-round pick. He's an inside linebacker who could make a jump in playing time if he starts this campaign with a strong camp and preseason. This could also be a spot for an undrafted rookie to make the squad, and we have more on that below…

Downing: The receiver competition will attract plenty of attention in camp, and people are probably sleeping on that No. 2 receiver battle to some extent. Duvernay is the favorite for that role after a solid second season where he made the Pro Bowl as a returner. But Proche is hungry for a bigger role, and he's hoping to earn that over the course of the summer. The other factor here, of course, is the possibility of bringing in a veteran to compete for that spot. The Ravens have opted to go with the young receiving corps up to this point, but adding a veteran is not off the table. Proche would really have to shine in camp to pass Duvernay on the depth chart, and the Ravens have high hopes for both of those third-year wideouts.

Brown: I think three undrafted rookie inside linebackers are worth keeping an eye one – Diego Fagot, Zakoby McClain and Josh Ross. They all have a chance to make the 53-man roster, especially if they shine on special teams. A former defensive star at Navy, Fagot opened eyes at the pre-draft Shrine Bowl where he was the defensive MVP. McClain led the nation in tackles at Auburn as a junior and he's battled-tested from playing in the SEC. Ross is a Michigan product who had 106 tackles playing for Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald last season. The Ravens have a deep roster and an undrafted free agent may not make the team. However, those are three players who will start training camp with a realistic chance.

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