The Ravens offensive line has been a popular topic as of late. Throughout recent history the Ravens have had one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. But how does this years offensive line compared to years prior? Lets take a look.
The Ravens Offensive Line
Week in, week out, they are the first to be blamed and the last to fame. As a fan base, we need to do an in-depth look at our previous and current “Status Quo” of the offensive line. With that being said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of things.
Some say that the Ravens’ current offensive line is good. Others will say that they are bad. Some of us roll with a happy medium of good enough. It’s tough to properly grade all these big fellas in a world where everyone is focused on skill positions, but thankfully, some people at Pro Football Focus and Pro Football Reference have us covered.
Left Tackle: Alejandro Villanueva
Ranked 57/81 in the Tackle position
Marked as a 62.7 Graded Yellow Player
This guy is a solid player game in and game out. Yes, unfortunately, he has gotten beaten in the pass pro a lot more than I’d like to admit, but the guy is always looking to make improvements when he can. Coming to Baltimore has opened his versatility more, in my opinion, considering he was going to be placed at right tackle before the Ronnie Stanley injury. The transition to right tackle was a little rough, but it was also full of potential. The team moving him back to his most comfortable position ended up working out.
Left Guard: Ben Powers
Ranked 25/78 in the Guard Position
Marked as a 68 Graded Green Player
Ben Powers has been a giant question mark of “Can he fill in this weird left guard void?” since Bradley Bozeman moved over to center. Don’t get me wrong, he is a quality player and has been proving me wrong week in and out. The way he tends to move around to get in crucial blocks has been quite impressive. Will he keep the “this all game thing” going, or will there be more rotations?
Center: Bradley Bozeman
Ranked 10/38 in the Center Position
Marked as 72.1 Graded Green Player
Everyone should know by now that Bozeman is my favorite offensive lineman on this current Ravens team. Outside of a few bad snaps (which happens from time to time) he’s been an excellent guy in the communications job, along with getting in all of his assigned blocks. I have been praying to the football gods that he stays Raven for a long time.
Right Guard: Kevin Zeitler
Ranked 17/78 in the Guard Position
Marked as 70.9 Graded Green Player
Mr. Kevin Zeitler. A guy we only wish we had sooner to fill the large shoes left by the retirement of future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda. A guy who has now played for 3/4 AFC North teams (if I’m not mistaken) and excels in the right guard spot. His footwork, hand in the cadence/snap count, and ability to make adjustments at whims notice are uncanny. Sometimes, he does get beat but not very often. Just get his replacement ready to fill his shoes whenever he goes to retire (hopefully as a Raven).
Right Tackle: Patrick Mekari
Ranked 44/81 in Tackle Position
Marked as 68.4 Graded Green Player
Patrick Mekari has been at the top of my list for this team, starting center or guard. It hurt a little seeing him not a starter in either position at first, but when Stanley went down early in the season & seeing him take over right tackle with huge success was a pleasant surprise. Later on he got hurt himself. His presence was missed while away. The game vs. the Bears, though, did show that the rust needs to be shaken off.
This lineup listed above is good enough to get this Ravens team to the playoffs & into a bit of a post-season run. You can take whatever you want out of the stats you can find, the film, & anything else to form your own opinion. But at the end of the day, this is a solid unit, even with a 68.42 grading average.
2019 Offensive Line
- Left Tackle: Ronnie Stanley
- 88.5 Graded Blue Player
- Left Guard: Bradley Bozeman
- 63.4 Graded Yellow Player
- Center: Matt Skura/Patrick Mekari
- Matt: 68.7 Graded Green Player
- Patrick: 70.5 Graded Green Player
- Right Guard: Marshal Yanda
- 86.6 Graded Blue Player
- Right Tackle: Orlando Brown Jr
- 72 Graded Green Player
The 2019 14-2 Baltimore Ravens offensive line was an average of 74.95 graded team. They were roughly 6.53 points better than the current team (as of somewhere in between weeks 11 & 12 of the 2021 season). There was some bolstering but also some regression in other areas, as we all know. We had all pros in Ronnie, Marshal, and Zues Jr.
2020 Offensive Line Grading
- Left Tackle: Zues Jr
- Graded as a 76.5
- Left Guard: Bradley Bozeman
- PFF Grade 64.3
- Center: Matt Skura
- PFF Grade 50.2
- Right Guard: Ben Powers
- PFF Grade 59.4
- Right Tackle: DJ Fluker
- PFF Grade 63.8
We can also ask how did the team have an 11-5 record with this offensive line? Let me remind you of these things. Ronnie went down the first time. Matt Skura, Trystan Colon, & Patrick Mekari were all competing for the starting center position. Tyre Phillips was also in the right guard rotation. The 2020 COVID season was bizarre and mildly successful for a whole lot of offensive line shuffles.
Anyways, as we look forward to the remaining weeks in the 2021 season, note that our current starting lineup can be just as good as the 2019 offensive line. Give it time and let it grow. Even though times look tough with the recent injury report, the big guys up front are communicating more and getting that chemistry they need to get the job done. Thanks to them, the Baltimore Ravens can end the 2021 season as a 12-5 or 13-4 team.