BALTIMORE — Expectations were high for Ravens rookie offensive lineman Ben Cleveland.
However, a concussion during training camp slowed his progress.
Cleveland finally got an opportunity Sunday night against the Kanas City Chiefs and played 32 snaps.
More importantly, the Ravens used Cleveland late in the second half at left guard with the game on the line, so perhaps he has put himself in a position for more playing time moving forward.
“He did really well," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He stepped up in a game. You never know until a guy gets into a game and plays his first game. He was very solid out there. He had a couple of powerful, really physical blocks. His technique is still … I’d say he’s young, technique-wise when you watch him, but that’s only going to get better, too.”
Cleveland was selected by the Ravens in the third round (94th overall) of the 2021 NFL Draft. Cleveland has impressive size — 6-foot-6, 343-pounds — and comes from a solid college program at Georgia.
In his final year, Cleveland was named a second‐team All‐America by The Athletic and made the Third Team for the Associated Press.
Cleveland took some time to get acclimated to the pro game and looked a bit stiff during training camp. However, the technique has gotten better with experience and he should compete for a starting job at some point during the season. Cleveland did fail his initial conditioning test upon arrival at training camp, but appears to be on the right track.
Cleveland could split time with Ben Powers at left guard.
They both played really well, so yes, they should both play going forward, and we’ll see where it takes us,” Harbaugh said.