The Baltimore Ravens used their lone fifth-round pick on Wisconsin offensive tackle Ricky Wagner.
With depth and talent at offensive tackle a concern for the team entering the draft, it was expected that the team would address the need at some point.
Coming from the offensive linemen-producing college of Wisconsin, Wagner has a high pedigree; however, he isn’t as talented as his predecessors. While he played left tackle for the Badgers, he figures to convert to right tackle or either guard in the NFL.
Wagner has good size, being listed at 6’6, 308 pounds with 34” arms, however he can be slow-footed after the snap and have trouble against athletic pass rushers. He’s strong enough to take on the powerful defensive linemen, but when athletic edge rushers use an inside move on him, he tends to freeze up. He also struggles with the speed rushers beating him around the outside.
He has success in the run game, getting good leverage and grip on defenders. That will likely help him find a role on the team, but the concerns for him in the passing game could prevent him from cracking the starting rotation.
Right now, Kelechi Osemele is projected to be the team’s starting left tackle, although that’s likely to change after the draft, when the Ravens could revisit the idea of bringing back veteran Bryant McKinnie.
In that case, Wagner wouldn’t have a chance at being a starter, at least this season. His versatility, in the event of Osemele moving back to a tackle position, could help him win the starting left guard job.
He doesn’t have much experience as a guard, but his quickness off the snap and strong push in the run game could help him have success. Fifth-round picks aren’t expected to be day-one starters or possibly ever start in the league. But with little talent along the offensive line behind the starting rotation, Wagner’s talent could be welcomed.
He’ll compete with Jah Reid and Ramon Harewood for playing time at either guard or in a backup role at tackle next season. Where he could be most valuable is at right tackle in the future, if the Ravens fail to re-sign Michael Oher to a long-term deal.
Regardless, depth and talent needed to be added to the Ravens’ offensive line, and Wagner brings both of those traits.