While the Baltimore Ravens are working on figuring out what to do with right tackle Orlando Brown, who insists that he is a left tackle, and who requested a trade, they also understand that one of their top priorities as an organization this offseason must be working to improve the pass protection for their star quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
Most have focused on the need to address the wide receiver position, which is lacking overall. With Marquise Brown, Willie Snead, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche, the Ravens have one of the most unremarkable groups in the NFL, and many outlets have linked them to top names at receiver.
Going after veteran wide receivers has, after all, been their modus operandi historically, in no small part due to their struggles to draft at the position. Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith, Mike Wallace, Michael Crabtree, the list can go on. But helping protect the quarterback also helps the passing game.
“One of the things we have to do is get better up front with pass protection”, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said last month. “The offensive line, in general, really battled versus some adversity this year. But pass protection is going to be a factor”.
All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley missed a substantial part of the season after suffering a torn ACL—which occurred shortly after they signed him to a massive new contract, making him the third-highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.
Aside from that, they are still looking for a proper replacement for Marshal Yanda, the perennial Pro Bowl guard who might be the next man at his position to put on the gold jacket. And the center position was a mess between Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari.
“Our offensive line is, to me, a primary piece to what we try to do, and we need to build the very best offensive line that we can”, head coach John Harbaugh was quoted as saying. “To me, it’s a major priority. It’s a major emphasis, it will be a major focal point, always, in how we coach, teach, and how we build the personnel”.
If they want to field the best offensive line in 2021 possible, then they have to figure out a way to keep Orlando Brown content at playing right tackle for at least another season before he leaves in free agency, with Stanley due to return from his injury, and return to the starting lineup, in 2021. And that doesn’t sound very likely.