Harbaugh wants Ravens’ starting offensive line settled ‘early’ in training camp

OWINGS MILLS – Ravens coach John Harbaugh wants to find his starters on the offensive line early in training camp, even though there is expected to be strong competition.

Multiple players are vying for those openings, and no one could separate himself during the offseason workouts without pads.

Nonetheless, Harbaugh wants to establish the starters so they can get comfortable with one another heading into the regular-season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Septemeber 5th.

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Tyler Linderbaum are the only returning starters from last year’s team, which means the Ravens have to fill holes at both guard positions and right tackle.

“It would be nice if we could kind of [know] by the first into the second week of training camp, [that] would be a goal to have a good idea,” Harbaugh said. “If it goes into the [preseason] games, it could go into the preseason games, but maybe just one spot up for grabs or something like that. That would be OK, but the sooner the better.”

Here’s a breakdown of the competition:

Left Guard — The main competition is between Josh Jones and Andrew Vorhees. The Ravens have been bullish on Vorhees, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2023 draft but missed his rookie season as he recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Jones is an experienced player who has started 24 games over the past three seasons at both tackle positions and right guard. Jones looked solid during the offseason workouts.

Right Guard — Ben Cleveland and Sala Aumavae-Laulu are battling for the top job. Cleveland has started seven games over his three-year career with the Ravens and is the favorite to become the starter. Aumavae-Laulu was selected by the Ravens in the sixth round (199th overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft and has played well enough to challenge for Cleveland.

Right Tackle — Daniel Faalele and rookie Roger Rosengarten are the top candidates to become the starter. Faalele was selected by the Ravens in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft and is evolving into a dependable player. Rosengarten was a two-year starter at right tackle for the Washington Huskies, protecting the blind side of left-handed quarterback Michael Penix Jr. He did not allow a sack in his college career, according to Pro Football Focus.

Veteran Patrick Mekari can play all five positions on the offensive line and the Ravens like having him available off the bench in case of injuries.

While establishing the starters might be ambitious early in camp, the Ravens coaches are prepared for that scenario.

“Well, John is the head coach, so we’ll see how it goes from there,” Ravens offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris said.  “I’m not going to balk Coach Harbaugh. We all work together, so we’ll see. If Coach says, ‘Hey, Joe. We want a starting unit by the second week,’ then we’ll deliver.”

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