Ravens select OT Ronnie Stanley with No. 6 pick in 2016 NFL draft
With the No. 6 pick in the 2016 NFL draft, the Baltimore Ravens select Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley.
Stanley may be the best pass-blocking tackle in this draft class, though his run-blocking leaves something to be desired. While Laremy Tunsil is the better player, Stanley has more upside. In any case, Stanley can kick over to the right side in the short term and sub in seamlessly for Eugene Monroe if Monroe gets hurt or is a cap casualty. Stanley has the look of a multi-Pro Bowl left tackle if he can get his upper-body strength together and better seal defenders to the edge in running plays.
Strengths: Stanley is extremely quick and agile on the move. He has an outstanding kick-step which he will adjust on the fly to inside counters and changes in pursuit angles. He can mirror out to the seam, and he rarely looks lost in space, making it very difficult for edge rushers to outrun him to the pocket. Drives the first punch in pass-pro most often. Resets very well if he gets out of sorts with technique. Shifts laterally very well and will lock on from the kick when rushers take the initiative. As Cravens pointed out, Stanley does a very good job of moving his body around the arc and is tough to beat outside as a result. When rushers do slip off to the side from the arc, he can easily transition without lunging and losing power.
Gets to the second level quickly and walls off his targets with hand and foot work more than amazing strength. Operates equally well from two- and three-point stances. Uses his very long arms (35 5/8") to put defenders back on their heels and force them to adjust. Has elite zone potential with the demonstrated ability to work from one defender to the next, and to keep his head on a swivel, adjusting to line games. Smart enough to discern who’s the primary target on blitzes. Can move opponents as long as he starts low and fast; Stanley can use his legs to propel and work defenders back, though again it’s with technique as opposed to raw power. Uses his hands to turn the defender’s shoulder and create leverage advantages. Can ride a guy out of the picture with arm bars. Excellent blocker on screens because he’s fast enough to get upfield. Shows technical refinement and proficiency even in the rawer aspects of his game.
Weaknesses: Play strength can be an issue for Stanley. If he comes off the snap late or high at all, he can be pushed back outside by stronger ends and inside by tackles. Consistent technique will be of paramount importance for him in the run game as he improves his root leverage in the pros, especially in his upper body. At times, he will fail to finish blocks, allowing defenders to sneak through. Uses shoulder-shivers when he should align and engage, and he needs to lead with his hands at all times. Wall-off technique is inconsistent at the line of scrimmage; he needs to square to the target with power and establish the point of attack. Needs to be nastier and more of a finisher in the run game in general. Outside arm bar technique could lead to holding calls in the NFL by more touchy officiating crews. Kind of a tweener from a build perspective: his lower body shows power, but he isn’t always able to use it force due to how he directs the power from his upper body. Penalties can be a problem—he logged 11 last season.