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How Ravens will fill 'irreplaceable' Marshal Yanda's right guard position

How Ravens will fill 'irreplaceable' Marshal Yanda's right guard position

The Ravens have a few holes throughout the roster, but perhaps none of them carry as much significance as the right guard position. 

With Marshal Yanda’s retirement earlier in the offseason, the Ravens have an open spot at right guard for the first time in over a decade. While there are a few options to replace the future Hall of Famer, none of them carry Yanda’s presence. 

“The thinking is it’s going to be really hard,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “I think he’s irreplaceable, bottom line. You can’t say that you’re going to plug in another Marshal Yanda. Probably the same thing applied to Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. To me, he’s in that category.”

Baltimore’s options along the interior offensive line are limited, as center Matt Skura is recovering from a significant knee injury — leaving the starting interior line, from left to right, as Bradley Bozeman, Patrick Mekari and Ben Powers. 

Mekari has five starts in his career; Powers has played in just one game. 

The team also released James Hurst, who was a versatile offensive lineman who could play both tackle and guard. Now, the Ravens have a lack of depth along the starting offensive line. 

Now, they’ll turn their focus to adding talent to the interior offensive line — both talent that can start and provide immediate depth.

“There are some tackles that we think can play inside, play guard,” general manager Eric DeCosta said. “There are some really good guards, some centers in this draft. I think we’ve shown in the past that we can find guys in the second, third, fourth, fifth rounds, offensive linemen who can come in and play.”

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A few early options in the draft figure to be Lloyd Cushenberry III out of LSU, Cesar Ruiz of Michigan and Nick Harris of Washington. 

Cushenberry and Ruiz started most of their careers at center, but Harris spent time at guard as well and could provide some much-needed versatility to a position that has some legitimate concerns. 

“We’ve got to make sure that we do a great job of making sure the interior offensive line is all set,” Harbaugh said. “How you do it, you do it the old way. We’ve got to look at all the players, try to find the best fits. I don’t think we necessarily have to concern ourselves with what the rest of the league is looking for in the offensive line, or any other position really, but just what we’re looking for and the type of player we want.”

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Current and former Ravens react to George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minnesota

Current and former Ravens react to George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minnesota

Prominent current and former Ravens players spoke out Wednesday after videos and pictures spread on social media of a Minneapolis police officer with his knee on the neck of a black man, identified as George Floyd, on Monday. 

Floyd, who said he couldn’t breathe while the officer’s knee was on his neck, was killed. The four officers involved, including Derek Chauvin, the officer whose knee suffocated Floyd, were fired.

Riots in Minnesota broke out, as a nationwide cry for justice occurred.

“It’s something that obviously it’s pretty easy to see what’s happening,” Ronnie Stanley said Wednesday on a conference call with local media. “Hopefully justice prevails in this case. It’s really sad to see. I really feel bad for him, his family and his loved ones. I’m keeping them in my prayers.”

Safety Earl Thomas posted a picture to Instagram with the caption, ‘Being black in America is exhausting.’ 

Former wide receiver Torrey Smith tweeted multiple times in the past 24 hours about the incident. 

Current Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence posted that he was, “done being quiet and done being angry.”

Other sports figures posted as well, including LeBron James, who posted a photo of Chauvin and Colin Kaepernick side-by-side.

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Ravens, Torrey Smith surprise seven local students with $20K scholarships

Ravens, Torrey Smith surprise seven local students with $20K scholarships

Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith recently delivered $20K college scholarships to seven local high school seniors, on behalf of the Ravens.

In a video posted to the Ravens' Twitter account Wednesday, the students were made to think their video conference with Smith was the final interview for the scholarship. They had no idea Smith was there to present them with the news that they had already won. 

"I'm the next level boss," Smith said. "In order to get to the scholarship, you have to go through me."

Recipients were decided based on academic achievements, extracurricular participation, and community service. Here's the list of students that exemplified these skills and were pleasantly surprised Wednesday afternoon.

  • Seantia Bryant, Green Street Academy
  • Gabriella Chalker, Hereford High School
  • Kayla Gauger, Green Street Academy
  • Jada Paschall, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute High School
  • Liz Gomez-Pena, Green Street Academy
  • Jarra Omar, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute High School
  • Donaysia Torbit – Baltimore Polytechnic Institute High School

 

Smith, 31, spent four years with the Ravens, most notably helping them capture a Super Bowl in the 2012 season. Baltimore drafted the Virgina native in the second round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Maryland. He retired in 2019.

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