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Early depth chart prediction: Ravens O-line, who's in, who's out?

Early depth chart prediction: Ravens O-line, who's in, who's out?

Ahead of minicamps and training camp, I’m taking a very-early look at the most intriguing battles on the Ravens’ depth chart. Here’s the outlook on the offensive line:

Offensive linemen on the roster

Jarell Broxton, Blaine Clausell, Anthony Fabiano, James Hurst, Ryan Jensen, Alex Lewis, Eugene Monroe, Stephane Nembot, Matt Skura, Ronnie Stanley, John Urschel, Rick Wagner, De’Ondre Wesley, Marshal Yanda, Jeremy Zuttah

Outlook

Coach John Harbaugh has talked about playing “the five best guys” together on the offensive line. That theory will be put to the test.

The Ravens’ biggest loss during free agency was left guard Kelechi Osemele, who signed with the Raiders. Whether the Ravens’ offensive line gets better or worse without Osemele is one of their biggest questions.

That issue was addressed in the draft, when the Ravens took Stanley with the sixth pick overall, and drafted Lewis in the fourth round. Stanley was the franchise’s highest pick since taking running back Jamal Lewis at No. 5 in 2000. It was also a pick that drew major attention, because the Ravens chose Stanley over talented left tackle Laremy Tunsil, who plummeted to No. 13 to the Dolphins after his infamous gas mask video surfaced on social media just prior to the draft.

The Ravens expect Stanley to start right away. However, Monroe is still on the roster at left tackle, despite missing 16 games with injuries the past two seasons. Speculation continues that Monroe will be released after June 1, when the Ravens would save $6.5 million in cap room by cutting him. But the Ravens are in no hurry to cut Monroe, who has already been paid $17.5 million from the Ravens in guaranteed money.

If Monroe is healthy and looks good when he returns from shoulder surgery, the Ravens will move Stanley to left guard as a rookie. Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden played left guard during his rookie season with the Ravens. If a Monroe-Stanley duo is the Ravens’ best left side combo, they will go with it. Stanley can always slide to left tackle if Monroe is injured again, which is a better option than playing undrafted Hurst as the starting left tackle.

If Monroe is cut or traded, Stanley will start at left tackle, leaving Urschel and Jensen competing for the starting job at left guard. The Ravens’ three other offensive line starters look set – Zuttah at center, perennial Pro Bowler Yanda at right guard, and Wagner at right tackle.

However, Harbaugh and offensive line coach Juan Castillo will not let anyone rest on their laurels. The Ravens dropped from eighth in the NFL in rushing in 2014 to 26th in 2015. Anyone who is not getting the job done is subject to being replaced.

Prediction

I expect the Ravens to keep nine offensive linemen, and I still think Monroe will be one of them, starting with Stanley, Zuttah, Yanda, and Wagner. I see Urschel, Jensen, Lewis, and Wesley as the backups.   

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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