Pro Football Focus says that Right Tackle is the Ravens’ biggest remaining need.
Baltimore Ravens – Right tackle
Whichever position Alex Lewis doesn’t play, the Ravens have a hole. With James Hurst slotted to start at RT, Baltimore will have a big concern despite improved play from the three-year veteran. Grading as one of the worst OTs in the NFL in 2014 and 2015, Hurst played just 305 snaps in 2016 allowing three hits and 11 hurries but no sacks. While he showed improvement, relying on Hurst to start and play well is unlikely. Since Ozzie Newsome drafted two guards in Nico Siragusa out of San Diego State and Jermaine Eluemunor out of Texas A&M, the Ravens have some pieces attack the OL holes.
I agree that right tackle is the Ravens biggest need now that the main wave of free agency and the draft are in the rear view mirror. And PFF is right, it wouldn’t be wise for the Ravens to rely on James Hurst to start at right tackle and I highly doubt that they are.
The Ravens really have three options when it comes to addressing the position.
The first is to sign a remaining free agent veteran like King Dunlap or Ryan Clady. However, Clady comes with injury concerns and Dunlap was recently arrested for violating a protective order so that addition is unlikely.
Ozzie Newsome could also try to find some treasure in someone else’s trash. He has a history of finding good value in players who are released during training camp. That’s somewhat of a risky move, though, because it can take a starting line some time to jell.
The more likely route is the Ravens see how Alex Lewis looks at right tackle this preseason. They’ve said they prefer to keep him at left guard but they may not have a choice but to swing him outside. In that case the Ravens can give either Ryan Jensen or John Urschel the opportunity to start at left guard. Both have starting experience but have been inconsistent. The Ravens could also see how Nico Siragusa and Jermaine Eluemunor look in training camp. Alex Lewis started as a rookie 4th round pick last year so it’s not out of the question.
Right tackle is definitely one of the biggest question marks that remain for the Ravens. We know James Hurst isn’t the answer. He’s proven to be a depth option – if he belongs on the roster at all.