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Ravens Sign OT Alejandro Villanueva

Knee-Jerk Reactions Ravens Sign OT Alejandro Villanueva

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On Tuesday morning, several outlets reported that the Ravens have signed offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva.

RSR staff react to the signing here.

Tony Lombardi

It was pretty obvious from the way the Ravens treated the right tackle position in the 2021 NFL Draft that they would rely upon free agency to fill the void left by the departure of Orlando Brown, Jr. What they get with the signing of Alejandro Villanueva is a professional dedicated to his craft, albeit one who will be asked to flip to right tackle late in his career.

Comparatively speaking, AV is a better pass blocker than OBJ but at the age of 32, he’s probably not as proficient as a run blocker. That said, beside Kevin Zeitler the combination of the two combined with Lamar Jackson at quarterback and the schematic adjustments by Greg Roman and O-Line coach Joe D’Alessandris, the falloff in the road game should be negligible. I don’t think the Ravens make the move if they expected a decline in their rushing attack.

AV should find the Ravens style to be a relief since the Steelers had such a focus on throwing the football and for the most part tossing out an offensive lineman’s best friend – play action.

Villanueva gets a 2-year, $14M paper deal but in reality it looks like a 1-year deal that will eat up about $5M in cap space in 2021.

The Ravens said they would improve their offensive line and with the additions of Zeitler, Villanueva and rookie Ben Cleveland, they’ve done exactly that!

Rob Shields

I was a bit surprised to see him get as much money as he did.  Usually guys signed after the draft and the later stages of the offseason see lesser salaries.  That being said, in 2020, he had a similar PFF grade as Orlando Brown did and his grades in 2018 and 2019 were solid as well.  He seems to be an adequate replacement and provides insurance at LT in case Ronnie Stanley isn’t ready to go in the beginning of the year.  

What I find interesting is how the offensive line will play out in terms of how many will they carry and who doesn’t make the team.  Someone(s) that the team doesn’t want to lose will not make the team.  Overall, I think they will enter training camp with a better line than they had at the end of 2020.

Chad Racine

This signing was expected and even more so after the Ravens didn’t take a tackle in the draft. The price tag might seem a little more expensive than expected but pro bowl left tackles aren’t found in the bargain bin department even at 32-years-old. Just like Orlando Brown, he can play right tackle with the option to play left if Stanley isn’t ready or gets hurt again. However, Villanueva knows what will be expected of him and won’t demand a trade to play the position he wants to play. I’m glad this is a two-year deal so it gives the Ravens more time to find a long-term solution. I’m imagining a starting line right now that looks like this from left to right: Stanley, Cleveland, Bozeman, Zeitler, and Villanueva.

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