As we found out in the last 3 days, depth on the Ravens offensive line has become a greater issue with the season-ending surgery for LG Alex Lewis.
A chorus of groans has erupted around Baltimore as the team has entered discussions with Jeremy Zuttah, who spent the last 3 seasons as the starting center.
Aside from the injury to Lewis, were there other contributing factors to these discussions?
The Ravens makeshift starting OL included rookie Jermaine Eluemunor at LG (then RG) and Matt Skura at RG (then C). Each received an extended trial, including 51 competitive, non-penalty snaps.
Here’s how I graded their performances:
Jermaine had a tough night. After review, I gave him the full charge for a sack (Q3, 10:52). He was beaten outside by LB Nico Marley who chased down Vaughn for a 5-yard sack. Previous, Hurst allowed inside pressure that resulted in a sack by Eluemunor’s charge (Allen, Q2, 5:25), but that was all on James.
Jermaine was also beaten outside once by Allen for a pressure and shared the charge for a QH by allowing pocket compression to Allen.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t all that went wrong. He missed 8 run blocks for a variety of reasons, but I’d summarize it simply by saying he was lost on the first 2 series and indecisive/lacking in quickness to make L2 blocks. He was also caught flat-footed with Malleck on the early shotgun snap as Mizzell tried to make a play.
In terms of positives, he connected on 7 of 10 pulls, the most I can recall for a Raven in quite some time (the most I’ve ever scored is 19 for Yanda, 15 successful, in the AFCWC game at NE after the 2009 season). A number of those were 1-gap pulls that seem to be a staple of Roman’s complex system. He made 2 blocks in level 2 and I scored him for a highlight when he pulled to pancake Mason Foster on the first of West’s 2 goal-line runs.
Scoring: 51 plays, 40 blocks, 8 missed, 1 pressure, 1/3 QH, 1 sack, 31 points (.61 per play). Even after adjustment, that’s .01 short of passing at guard. High F.
Matt’s high raw score belies a serious problem. I scored him for just 1 negative event, a partial QH by McClain who split a double team from Skura and Nembot to take down Mallett (Q2, 2:39). However, his 4 missed blocks include 3 instances where he was beaten, but the ball was out quickly on pass plays. That was a serious issue for Zuttah last season and like Jeremy, it’s an anchoring problem in his case. He connected on his only pull and had a gorgeous combination block that included a level-2 pancake of LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (Q2,1:28).
Scoring: 51 plays, 46 blocks, 4 missed, 1/3 QH, 45 points (.88 per play). That’s a B at guard/center. I didn’t credit him with an adjustment, because it looked as if he was responsible for the near-disastrous shotgun snap that resulted in a loss of 1.
It appears both players are likely to make the roster with the current OL depth, but each still has much to prove.