Scouting: Mid-round O-Line prospects
The Ravens seem to be all be set on the Offensive line. Returning at Tackle are Eugene Monroe who has been a nice fit in the zone blocking system, despite playing through nagging injuries. Rick Wagner who was playing at a Pro Bowl level before an injury sidelined him for the season. Undrafted rookie, James Hurst, would step in in Wagner’s place looking serviceable in some games, and awful in others. At guard they have the staples in Marshal Yanda and Kelechi Osemele in the last year of their contracts. Also John Urschel entering his second season after an impressive rookie campaign. Urschel could in fact challenge for playing time at center with Yanda and Osemele firmly entrenched as starting guards. At center, Jeremy Zuttah will compete with Urschel. Zuttah, much like Monroe, is a great fit in the ZBS, and battled through nagging injuries that hampered his ability at times. Ryan Jensen is a longshot to earn playing time.
Despite being the deepest position group on the Ravens roster, O-line is where the game is won and lost, and where the most injuries tend to occur. Guard may not be an immediate need, but could quickly become one in 2016. With the benefit of six picks the Ravens own in rounds four and five, I could see them targeting the offensive line for depth, and planning ahead.
Here is a look at some lineman that can be had in the meat of the upcoming draft, starting with the tackles, guards, and wrapping up at center. (Round projections courtesy of CBSsports.com)
Discuss your thoughts on these potential Ravens draft targets on our message board.
Tyrus Thompson – Oklahoma
6’5”, 324 lbs. Fourth round. Thompson played 11 games in his senior year at left tackle, but scouts believe he would be better suited on the right side given NFL game speed. He has long arms and a thick frame that will play at the next level. But scouts from multiple sources cite laziness as one of traits. He lacks effort when the play isn’t going to his side, and doesn’t have much of a nasty streak. He’ll make far too many mental mistakes, and is a bit handsy in blocking, drawing holding flags.
Austin Shepherd – Alabama
6’4”, 315 lbs. Fourth or Fifth round. Shepard replaced D.J. Fluker in 2013 and has started every game at right tackle for the Crimson Tide since. He has shorter arms, and some think he’ll project better as a guard in the NFL. He has physical traits that make him a strong zone blocking scheme addition. He takes good angles in run blocking and pushes into the second level with ease. He looked decent enough in pass blocking showing good lateral agility. He isn’t an explosive player, looking somewhat stiff at times. He plays hard every down, playing to the whistle and finishing off his blocks. A high character person both on and off the field.
Laurence Gibson – Virginia Tech
6’6”, 305 lbs. Fifth round. Gibson didn’t gather much attention from scouts until this past season, and an impressive combine. He packed on 20 pounds before 2014 to bulk up a bit for an O-lineman. His technique needs some work as he plays stiff, lowers his head, and doesn’t sustain blocks very long. He would be a project, but is physically talented.
Mitch Morse – Missouri
6’5”, 305 lbs. Fourth round. Morse is versatile talent that has played all three positions on the O-line. Some project he could be a right tackle, but guard still seems to be his calling considering his shorter arms than what coaches want in tackles at the next level. Morse doesn’t figure to be a zone blocking fit, showing power, a good punch off the line, but technique lacks when he has to get on the move. He doesn’t quite direct his opponent in the direction he wants on the edge, and getting to the second level.
Mark Glowinski – West Virginia
6’4”, 307 lbs. Fourth or fifth round. The former JUCO transfer from Lackawanna College, moved inside to right guard after being a right tackle previously. He was second team All Big-12 in 2014. Glowinski is a gym rat who possesses great strength. He gets by with his strength as the technique seems to be a step behind. He had a great showing at the Shrine Game, and quickly picked up the offense after playing in WVU’s spread attack. If he could develop some agility, looseness, bend in his knees and waist, combined with his brute strength, he could be a force one day.
Andy Gallik – Boston College
6’2”, 306 lbs. Fourth or fifth round. Since 2000, there have been 11 Boston College O-lineman drafted. They churn them out, and Gallik, a four year starter for the Eagles will likely be the 12th. The two time All-ACC center shows a high football IQ. He is quick to react to stunts and twists in his direction, and finishes his blocks well. He doesn’t seem to fit a zone blocking scheme as he isn’t quick enough to get to the second level. He’s strong, nasty, but not very athletic.
Shaquille Mason – Georgia Tech
6’2”, 304 lbs. Fifth round. Mason started 40 games at guard in his career at Georgia Tech, helping lead them to the nation’s best rushing attack at 342.1 YPG in the triple option. Two-time All-ACC Honors, and a first team All-American in 2014. He lacks ideal height and arm length to play guard at the NFL level, and looked comfortable shifting over to center at the Senior Bowl. Hard to project how well he will transition to center because it’s a different skill set than that of a guard. But Brandon Thorn of CBS Sports compares him to A.Q. Shipley who we are a little familiar with in Baltimore. Shipley was a seventh round pick, and they expect Mason to be selected higher than that.
Mike was born on the Eastern Shore, raised in Finksburg, and currently resides in Parkville. In 2009, Mike graduated from the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. Mike became a Baltimore City Fire Fighter in late 2010. Mike has appeared as a guest on Q1370, and FOX45. Now a Sr. Ravens Analyst for BSL, he can be reached at [email protected]