Ricky Wagner to Ravens: How Does Tackle Fit with Baltimore?
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Ricky Wagner started for two seasons at left tackle for the Wisconsin Badgers. The Ravens desperately needed a tackle for offensive line coach Juan Castillo to develop. The Ravens value players who have a lot of experience, especially those who played in the bigger conferences.
The Ravens don't currently have a starter set at the left tackle position. After drafting Wagner, they now have someone to compete with Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele for the starting position. Ideally, the Ravens would like to keep Oher on the right side and Osemele at the left guard position.
Wagner is a former basketball player with good height and wingspan for the tackle position. He's solid from a technical standpoint, but he's only an average athlete. He could struggle against the speed rushers in the NFL, but the Ravens should certainly be able to test him early with their array of pass rushers. Wagner's best attribute is his run blocking, where he's considered a nasty mauler with good technique. He isn't overly strong, but he has great hip explosion which was demonstrated by his 31.5" vertical jump at the combine.
The Ravens will still more than likely try to sign a veteran left tackle before training camp starts, but Wagner will have an opportunity to start along the line somewhere. It's also possible that the Ravens could try Osemele at left tackle and try Wagner out at left guard. The Ravens now have plenty of options to choose from, and they'll just have to decide which one gives them the best opportunity to win.
Rob Engle is the co-founder of DraftBreakdown.com. Check out draft breakdown for draft analysis, mock drafts, and video footage of hundreds of draft prospects.
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