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Will Ronnie Stanley Or Eugene Monroe Start In Week 1?


General Manager Ozzie Newsome stuck to his mantra and took the top player on his board Thursday night, selecting Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley.

While a potential franchise tackle is a great asset for the current and future, left tackle wasn't at the top of the list when it came to immediate needs.

The Ravens have Eugene Monroe, who is entering the third year of a five-year contract he signed before the 2014 season, still on the roster.

So where does Stanley fit in? Will the Ravens' No. 6 pick be a starter come Week 1?

"I think it will pan out the way it pans out," Head Coah John Harbaugh said. "As a coach, we love competition. I say we throw them all in there, let them compete and may the best man win, and we'll see who that is."

After trading for Monroe in 2013 and re-signing him the following offseason, the Ravens hoped Monroe would be their franchise left tackle – the team's first since Hall of Famer Jonathan Ogden retired in 2007.

But Monroe has dealt with a myriad of injuries from concussions to shoulder issues since then, knocking him out of 15 regular-season games over the past two years. He sat out both playoff games in 2014 in his first trip to the postseason.

Newsome hasn't been discreet about his search for alternative options at left tackle. He said he wanted to re-sign Kelechi Osemele to be the team's left tackle, but Osemele got a massive payday from the Oakland Raiders in free agency.

Newsome didn't want to comment on Monroe's status Thursday night.

"Right now, Eugene is still under medical care," Newsome said. "He's still working with the trainers on a daily basis. 

"Up until he becomes a healthy football player, he's like [Terrell] Suggs and Steve Smith and Joe [Flacco] and those guys."

The Ravens could keep both players on the roster and even in the starting rotation. There are multiple options.

Stanley could play at guard, stepping in for Osemele. It would be a similar move to when Jonathan Ogden played guard during his rookie season because Baltimore had veteran left tackle Tony Jones in place. Stanley could also shift to right guard, where he started 13 games as a sophomore, and potentially bump Rick Wagner to guard.

"There's a good chance we could do it that way or another way," Harbaugh said when asked about Stanley playing guard. "It's kind of too early to say. We're always going to try to put the best five linemen on the field. There's no question about it, he's got a chance to be in our starting lineup."

Stanley started all 13 games during each of his final three seasons. He has the athleticism, size, smarts and talent to challenge for an NFL starting job as a rookie. The Ravens are encouraged that his transition to the NFL is helped by the fact that he played in a pro-style offense at Notre Dame.

"He's been coached at an NFL level," Harbaugh said. "We're going to have high expectations for him and it's going to be up to him to get the job done. He's got to win the job just like anybody else. Those guys that are here right now, they're not going to give those jobs up too easily."

Stanley was asked whether he's confident that he can win the starting job as a rookie.

"I'm just going to come in and I'm going to play my best," he said. "I'm going to do whatever I can to help the team win, and wherever the coaches see me, that's where they're going to put me."

Take a look at photos from newest Raven Ronnie Stanley during his time at Notre Dame.

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