The Raiders are already in love with Kelechi Osemele. The question for the Ravens is: How much will their offensive line miss him?
As training camp approaches, it remains uncertain who will replace Osemele as the Ravens’ starting left guard. Known for his physical run blocking, Osemele is determined to improve the Raiders’ rushing attack after signing a five-year, $58.5 million deal during free agency.
“I come from a place where we believe in running the ball, and it’s good to be (in) another organization where that seems to be the goal with what they want to do,” Osemele told the Raiders’ website. “I’m a mauler, that’s what I do. I’m a road grinder. I like to run people over and leave then there flat, so I’m glad to be on a team that is headed that direction.”
Osemele was impressive enough in OTA’s to convince the Raiders they made the right move signing him.
“He’s a tremendous run blocker,” said Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. “We’ve seen that on film when he was in Baltimore. (He’s) good in pass blocking. We anticipate his run blocking to help our run game be more productive.”
So where does that leave the Ravens at left guard? John Urschel has the inside track to start, but he could be challenged by Ryan Jensen, fourth-round pick Alex Lewis, or veteran Vladimir Ducasse. With first-round pick Ronnie Stanley expected to start at left tackle, the Ravens will have a new left side of the offensive line.
The Ravens knew it would be difficult to re-sign Osemele, and he took the money and ran. Now the Ravens’ challenge is to run the football effectively without him.