After trading Orlando Brown, Jr. in the offseason and losing Ronnie Stanley for a second consecutive season, the Baltimore Ravens are likely looking to add offensive tackle talent in next year’s draft.
Pro Football Network’s Oliver Hodgkinson predicted that the Ravens would select offensive tackle Trevor Penning out of the University of Northern Iowa to shore up their offensive line.
Veteran Alejandro Villanueva has held up at left tackle and Patrick Mekari has been impressive sliding in at right tackle, but neither player projects as a long-term starter in Baltimore. Stanley’s status as a franchise left tackle is in doubt after the ankle injury that ended his 2020 season didn’t heal properly, knocking him out for this year as well.
As a result, offensive tackle is the Ravens’ most immediate need, though their aging interior defensive line could use an infusion of youth as well.
Hodgkinson thinks Penning could be the answer for Baltimore, writing on November 13:
If you’re reading this and you haven’t heard of Trevor Penning, go grab yourself whatever Northern Iowa film you can find and get ready to be entertained. Penning is a 6’7″, 340-pound monster whose smooth movements and flexibility belie his size. Yet, he plays the game with the power and ferocity you’d expect from a true behemoth.
The highlights live up to the hype, with Penning repeatedly destroying opposing defenders and slamming them into the turf for good measure.
Another People-Mover in Baltimore?
The Ravens have demonstrated an affinity for massive offensive linemen over the years, most recently drafting the 6-foot-6, 357-pound Ben Cleveland out of Georgia in the third round of this year’s draft.
With Ronnie Stanley missing significant time over the past two seasons, and Orlando Brown being traded to the Chiefs earlier this year, offensive tackle might prove to be the biggest need for Baltimore. Landing Penning in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft mitigates for a worst-case scenario with Stanley’s long-term recovery. In an ideal world, Stanley makes a full recovery, and Penning slides across to the right tackle spot, giving the Ravens the best bookends in the NFL.
With all of the uncertainty about Stanley’s future, the Ravens will need to find another long-term offensive tackle to protect star quarterback Lamar Jackson. If Stanley is able to return to his All-Pro form, Penning wouldn’t be rendered redundant. He can switch to right tackle and turn the Ravens’ offensive line from a weakness into a strength.
Pro Football Focus Mocks Penning to Baltimore
This isn’t first time that Penning has been mentioned as a potential target for the Ravens.
The 6-foot-7, 321-pound Penning is a horse in the run game. He can be the people-moving presence the Ravens haven’t had this season after trading Orlando Brown Jr. Penning has also been pretty dominant in pass protection in 2021, surrendering only five pressures on 212 pass-blocking snaps.
But it’s unclear if the Ravens will even have a chance at the Northern Iowa Panther, as he’s moved up in several big boards with a strong season thus far. Penning is The Athletic’s number-eight prospect in their most recent rankings, part of an extremely-talented class of offensive tackles.