Baltimore Ravens: Say No to Offensive Lineman in First Round

May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; A general view of a helmet and NFL shield logo before the start of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; A general view of a helmet and NFL shield logo before the start of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens need an impact player with the No. 6 pick. That is why they should not draft an offensive tackle with their top choice.

It is widely expected that Laremy Tunsil will be the first pick in the draft by the Tennessee Titans. It’s a move that makes sense for the Titans because they seriously struggled to keep Marcus Mariota on his feet last season. They need more than just Tunsil to fix their offensive line, but he will be the foundation of that line for years to come.

The Baltimore Ravens have been linked to Ronnie Stanley, who is ranked as the second-best tackle in this draft. Mel Kiper had him being the pick in his first mock draft, but has since changed his selection. The Ravens have more pressing needs than an offensive tackle and that’s why they need to stay away from a lineman until the later rounds.

A lot of the speculation is based around the unknown future of current left tackle Eugene Monroe. He has struggled to stay healthy since signing a contract extension with the Ravens, and there have been some rumblings that the team could part ways with him. It’s hard to imagine them getting rid of Monroe with no viable backup.

Some will argue that the last time the franchise used a high pick on an offensive lineman, it worked out wonderfully for them. Jonathan Ogden might be the best left tackle since the year 2000 and was selected fourth overall. He anchored the left side of the offensive line and was a no-doubt-about-it Hall of Famer when he called it quits. Any team would welcome a player of that caliber to their roster.

That player is supposed to Tunsil. It’s not often that a left tackle is the top-pick in the draft, but he has the skills to be special. And while the Ravens could use some depth on the line, adding a pass rusher or player in the secondary is more important in the first round.

This year’s class of offensive lineman is a relatively deep group. In our mock draft, the Ravens select Kansas State lineman Cory Whitehair in the second round. Baltimore does need a player to fill the void left by Kelechi Osemele, and there will be some players in the second or third round that can do so. They also can go into the 2016 season with what they have already on the roster. 

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Baltimore should have the opportunity to select one of the top defensive players in the draft. They will likely get who is left over at No. 6, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The Ravens are likely to get the last sure-thing in this draft at that spot. It’s a guessing game for many of the players outside the top 10 prospects.

Vernon Hargreaves remains my top choice for the sixth pick. He is the type of player that can step on the field and make a difference right away. The Ravens need playmakers in the secondary and Hargreaves is an instant upgrade over some of the cornerbacks already on the roster.

The Ravens are coming off one the worst season in a decade and an offensive lineman is not going to turn things around after finishing 5-11. They have too many holes to fill at other positions and already have starters at both tackle positions. Most will agree that they feel safer entering the season with a proven Monroe and Ricky Wagner over an unknown rookie.

Next: Breshad Perriman is Ravens X-Factor in 2016

There is a saying in Baltimore that says “In Ozzie We Trust.” That is generally true, but if they do decide to go offensive lineman, most of Ravens Nation is not going to be happy.