OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens offensive line is essentially set with the exception of the left guard — a position that will be decided during training camp.
Alejandro Villanueva is the right tackle.
Kevin Zeitler will start at right guard.
Bradley Bozeman is the center,
Ronnie Stanley is expected to return from an ankle injury and start at left tackle.
However, there will be heated competition in training camp for the starting left guard with Bozeman's new position.
Ben Powers, Tyre Phillips and Ben Cleveland will compete for the job.
"I would assess it probably as being wide open," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "All of those guys have played to a very high level so far [with] what we’re in this phase for what we’re allowed to do. They all look good. Nobody has separated at this point, but you’re not going to separate in something like this. We don’t ask them to separate at this time; training camp is when that will happen.
"But we’ve got candidates, for sure, and they’re all high-level candidates. So, I’m excited about that and can’t wait to see it play out. I’m sure everybody is kind of … If you like football and you’re a real student of the game, you’ll be watching that left guard battle during training camp.”
Here's a breakdown of the competition.
Powers was selected by the Ravens in the fourth round (123rd overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. Powers appeared in all 16 games, including seven starts, and helped block for the NFL’s No. 1 rushing attack (191.9 ypg), which produced the third-most yards (3,071) ever in a 16-game NFL season. He also started at right guard in the postseason.
Outlook: Powers might have the inside track to start because he has experience.
Phillips was selected by the Ravens in the third round (106th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft. Phillips appeared in 12 games (eight starts) between right guard and right tackle. He did battle injuries and was placed on IR (ankle) on Nov. 3.
Outlook: Phillips flashed in his rookie year despite not having any offseason workouts because of COVID-19. He provides valuable depth at tackle and can play effectively at guard. Phillips' versatility will keep him on the field one way or another.
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. Last season, he was named a second‐team All‐America by The Athletic and made the Third Team for the Associated Press.
Outlook: Cleveland is still getting acclimated to the pro game and looked a bit stiff during OTAs. However, the technique will get better with experience and he'll have a starting job at some point during the season if he does not take over a job for the opener. Cleveland did fail his initial conditioning test upon arrival at training camp.