Before the start of the 2014 offseason, the name Ryan Jensen was a relative unknown when talking about the Ravens roster.
In fact, most casual fans had to look to Google to find out exactly who he was or what position he even played.
That certainly isn’t the case any longer, now that the 2013 sixth-round draft pick is healthy and being given the opportunity to compete for a spot on the revamped offensive line.
Until recently, Jensen appeared to be the center in waiting; however, the acquisition of Jeremy Zuttah by the organization seemingly put a halt to those plans for the time being.
Instead, Jensen acknowledged to the media recently that the team approached him about the possibility of playing the vacated right tackle position. During last weeks OTAs, Jensen lined up with the first team offense.
Even prior to the disappointing play of the Ravens’ offensive line in 2013, it became apparent that the team and the front office had high hopes for Jensen. Despite Jensen breaking his foot during training camp last year, the Ravens’ kept him on their 53-man roster – an indication of just how much promise he displayed prior.
Ryan could be considered a valuable asset to a Ravens team that has a lack of depth when it comes to the offensive line. In all actuality, Jensen could potentially play all five positions along the line, though as John Harbaugh alluded to last week it’s doubtful he would.
“Yes, we moved Ryan [Jensen] … Obviously we moved him, but he’s getting reps at both right tackle and left tackle,” Harbaugh stated. “We’re going to put him in the mix out there and see how he does. He played tackle in college, so he’s comfortable out there, mentally, it seems like. We’ll see if he’s a fit out there also. It’ll just give us more competition.”
For now it looks as if Jensen’s competition will be with Ricky Wagner for the job as the starting right tackle in 2014. Jensen certainly isn’t afraid of competition and brings with him a fiery nature to the position which was on full display Wednesday when he mixed it up with some defensive players at the end of a play.
It looks as if Wagner may be ahead of Jensen for now strictly based on Wagner’s slightly elevated experience on the field.
Jensen has drawn praise from teammates, including veteran Eugene Monroe.
“He’s in the same boat (as Wagner),” Monroe said. “He’s already been moved around a little bit, but he can play pretty much any position on the line. So having that versatility is always unique and key.”
Whether Jensen’s role on the team will be that of a starter or a back-up, with roster spots being very limited, Jensen’s opportunity has never been better.
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