OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens rotated their starting offensive tackles – Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses — this past season to keep them fresh for the fourth quarter and also to prevent injuries.
Patrick Mekari and Daniel Faalele played well in those backup roles.
Nonetheless, the Ravens might look to upgrade their tackle position through this year’s draft.
“I know it’s not a sexy position for a lot of people – my sons included – but it’s a critical, important [position] for our team,” general manager Eric DeCosta said about the offensive line. “We’ll spend a lot of resources and a lot of time talking [about] what that’s going to look like.”
The Ravens have the 30th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and a talented offensive tackle could fall to them, depending on how many quarterbacks are taken in the first round.
One tackle linked to the Ravens in the first round is 6-foot-5, 325-pound Jordan Morgan from Arizona. Scouting reports say he has the athleticism to make an immediate impact but that he will need to work on his strength.
Another player who could fall to the Ravens is Kansas’ Dominick Puni, who has the versatility to play guard or tackle. At 6-5, 320 pounds, he appears to have the size and strength to compete for a starting job.
Drafting a tackle could be a priority for DeCosta because of the uncertainty of the roster. The Ravens have prioritized protecting quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was sacked 37 times last season — tied for ninth-most in the NFL.
Moses is eligible for free agency in 2025, and he will have a base salary of $5,5 million next season and a $6.96 million cap hit, according to spotrac.com. If the Ravens decide to part ways with Moses, Mekari, who will make a base salary of $4.6 million, could move into the starting role before being eligible for free agency in 2025.
Stanley has two years left on his deal that pays him an $11 million base salary in 2024 and $16 million in 2025. He would cost the Ravens almost $18 million if they cut him before June 1st. DeCosta expects Stanley to be part of the team next season, but that could change.
“And unfortunately, Ronnie [Stanley], no fault of his own, has had a series of injuries that have hurt him [and] hurt his performance – the ankle and then a series of knee injuries,” DeCosta said. “So, that’s definitely been a factor. I love Ronnie, he’s still a talented player. I think this is going to be a big offseason for him getting himself healthy [and] getting himself strong again [and] coming back in good football shape.”