by Chad Racine
The Ravens are still not done adding players but that doesn't mean we can't take a look at the position battles upcoming in training camp. There are plenty of obvious starters and plenty of battles to be had before the season starts.
The Offensive Line
I think this is one of the most interesting and hardest to predict. Out of the five positions there are only two locks with Ronnie Stanley at left tackle and Marshall Yanda at right guard. The third lock I would say is Alex Lewis but the question remains where will he be a lock at? The Ravens want to keep him at guard but he may be the best right tackle on the roster that's not already a starter. I suppose it's even possible of moving Yanda out to right tackle but when you have the best guard in the league it's best to keep him there.
Nico Siragusa and Jermaine Eluemunor are the rookies in the mix which could end up being backups or immediate starters. Siragusa makes sense at left guard and fits the mold of a bigger more physical interior line that the Ravens are going for. His second option would be at center but I still have a feeling Nick Mangold is an option to be signed in the near future. Eluemunor has been a right tackle at Texas A&M but a move inside to guard for him is also possible. They are 4th and 5th round rookies which normally are long shots to start but Alex Lewis proved last year to be a very promising offensive lineman selected in the 4th round.
Stephane Nembot, De'Ondre Wesley and James Hurst are the current right tackles on the roster that have a jump on the rookies due to experience. Hurst has the most starting experience but after Flacco's injury in 2015 that's probably what Hurst is known for the most. Both Wesley and Nembot have that size and length needed on the outside at right tackle with experience going to Wesley and athleticism and higher ceiling going to Nembot. The only concern with Nembot is he spent last year on "injured reserve" which didn't allow him to practice with the team. However I think that was a moved to prevent from getting plucked from the practice squad because the Ravens know they have a promising right tackle in the works. I think there's a strong chance that Nembot is this year's starting right tackle.
John Urschel and Ryan Jensen are the remaining interior lineman on the roster that are both swing guard/centers. Urschel had a rather impressive rookie year and appeared to be the center of the future with his remarkable intelligence level. What happens to be maybe his strongest quality may also be his biggest downfall. Whenever Urschel's name is mentioned anymore chances are it has to do with math and not football. He may love football but it seems he loves math a little bit more and that's where his focus is. Jensen has some grit but isn't a starting caliber player and is at the end of his rookie contract. Not likely the Ravens want to invest anything more than a rookie contract in Jensen unless he proves otherwise this year. Urschel is also entering the final year of his contract and likely this will be his last year with the Ravens. If either Jensen or Urschel were the answer at left guard or center they would have had the chance with Zuttah's poor play. Rookie Alex Lewis clearly outplayed them at left guard and unless he moves to right tackle they won't have a shot at left guard.
There are still other lineman on the roster like Matt Skura, Jarell Broxton and some undrafted free agents that were signed but as of now they don't appear to be in the starting competition
Expect a lot of these players to get shuffled around in training camp until the coaching staff can figure out which 5 guys to line up and at what positions. This will not likely be settled until almost the start of the season.