Ravens confident they have new starting guards already on roster

OWINGS MILLS — The Ravens decided not to select a guard in the 2014 NFL draft because players available at other positions were rated higher by the front office and scouts.

The Ravens did take Michigan State center Nick Samac in the seventh round (228th overall). With Sam Mustipher signing a free-agent deal with the Broncos this offseason, Samac has an opportunity to be the main backup for Tyler Linderbaum, who made the Pro Bowl this past season.

However, Samac also will see time at guard during training camp, according to general manager Eric DeCosta.

“Nick Samac is just a gritty Big Ten offensive lineman,” DeCosta said. “[He’s] a very good center, a very athletic guy, stays on his blocks, good sustainability, very, very intelligent, and we think a guy that can back up Tyler [Linberbaum] and also hopefully work in as a guard and develop and be a swing guy for us.”

DeCosta is confident the team has the team has other options to fill the void after last season’s starters — Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson — left via free agency.

Pat Mekari and Ben Cleveland are atop the depth chart at guard. The Ravens also signed free agent Josh Jones, who can play tackle and guard, which makes him capable of competing for a starting job.

The Ravens also like guard Andrew Vorhees, who was selected in the seventh round with the 229th overall pick in the 2023 draft. Vorhees had a redshirt rookie year to recover from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered while participating in the scouting combine.

As a result, DeCosta did not feel any pressure to select a true guard in this year’s draft.

“We drafted a couple of guards last year that we feel really good about, and we saw Ben Cleveland – we saw his growth last year as a player,” DeCosta said after the draft. “We’re excited about Andrew [Voorhees], who’s coming off the injury. We have some viable guys to compete, and like I said, I think Nick Samac has a chance to work in there as well, and we have some other veteran guys that we think have a chance as well.

“I’m excited about the group overall, and I don’t have any … I don’t feel too bad about it, just because of the type of guys that we got in the fourth and fifth round.” 


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