It didn’t take former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman R.J. Prince to land back on his feet. Originally a rookie minicamp tryout signing last season, Prince spent the year on the practice squad and was said to be well-liked by the coaching staff, but he was waived earlier this week in favor of Damian Prince, a rookie minicamp tryout invitee this season.
Less than a week after his release, R.J. Prince has now found a new home, within the same division, in fact, as he has officially signed with the Baltimore Ravens, who need help along the offensive interior, and depth all around.
Prince is the second college free agent from the 2018 class for the Steelers that has now joined the Ravens. Florida linebacker Matthew Thomas, who spent most of last season on the 53-man roster, was not retained on a futures deal after the season was over, and chose to sign with Baltimore.
Though he played both inside and outside during his time with the Steelers, the Ravens are reportedly signing him to compete at the guard position. The left guard spot is potentially up for grabs with Alex Lewis dealing with injuries throughout his career.
Lewis was viewed as a potential long-term option after he played very well when healthy as a rookie in 2016, but he would miss all of 2017 due to injury and then was also limited this past year, at one point narrowly avoiding a serious neck injury.
With Orlando Brown, Jr. entering the picture at right tackle, James Hurst is back in the mix at left guard, as well as Bradley Bozeman and Ben Powers, the latter of whom I wrote yesterday. He is a fourth-round rookie out of Oklahoma, where he was teammates with Brown, and his family grew up Steelers fans.
With Lamar Jackson now at quarterback, run blocking will actually be a priority in Greg Roman’s offense, which runs much in contrasts to the trends around pretty much the rest of the league. With Jackson under center, the Ravens’ run-pass ratio was by far the most slanted to the run in the NFL.
Baltimore’s other starting offensive linemen are Ronnie Stanley at left tackle, Alex Skura (projected) at center, and Marshal Yanda at right guard. Yanda is a perennial All-Pro when healthy. Stanley is a former top 10 pick. Skura is a one-year starter who could potentially be in competition for his job this year after replacing Ryan Jensen, who left in free agency.