The Baltimore Ravens have signed former Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi to their practice squad “with the expectation he’ll be elevated to the active roster soon,” according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo on Wednesday, October 27.
Ogbuehi was released by the Seahawks on Monday, immediately sparking rumors that he could be headed to Baltimore after starting right tackle Patrick Mekari suffered a high ankle sprain during Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Those rumors were substantiated by the Ravens hosting Ogbuehi for a workout yesterday, per the NFL’s official transaction report. The team apparently liked what they saw from the former first-round pick, quickly signing him to the practice squad.
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It’s unlikely Ogbuehi stays on the practice squad for long, as the Ravens are in need of immediate help on the offensive line, especially at right tackle. With five starts at the position in the last two seasons, Ogbuehi is a much-needed addition to an injury-stricken offensive line that has already lost All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley for the season.
The signing comes amid uncertainty in Baltimore at right tackle after Mekari’s injury. Second-year lineman Tyre Phillips replaced Mekari for the rest of Sunday’s game, but struggled against a strong Cincinnati pass rush.
Ravens offensive line coach Joe D’Alessandris said yesterday that the team would prefer to keep Phillips at guard, but Mekari’s injury could force Phillips back to right tackle, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. Phillips did play offensive tackle in college but has struggled at the position in the pros.
Beyond Phillips, the Ravens don’t have any reliable offensive tackles with a mix of developmental projects and stopgap veterans on the practice squad.
But Ogbuehi has seen enough action in the past two seasons to make him a viable option at right tackle going forward. The Texas A&M product excelled as a run-blocker on the right side in his career, which could help a Ravens ground game that has failed to dominate like it has in the past.
How Soon Could Ogbuehi Hit the Field?
Ogbuehi’s arrival comes during the Ravens’ bye week, giving him more than a week to get up to speed in Baltimore. If he learns the playbook and demonstrates chemistry with quarterback Lamar Jackson and the rest of the offensive line, the former Aggie could be a candidate to start on November 7 against the Minnesota Vikings.
This would allow Phillips to move back to left guard, where he started the Ravens’ Week 1 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders before being carted off the field with a knee injury. Now that he’s fully recovered, he could take his starting job back from second-year guard Ben Powers.
Powers performed admirably in his relief of Phillips, especially in pass protection. The former Oklahoma Sooner has only allowed seven pressures and one sack, good for a 75.5 pass blocking grade from Pro Football Focus that is 12th-best among all offensive guards. But he’s struggled to propel Baltimore’s rushing attack, only managing a 55.2 run blocking grade.
The Ravens seem to prefer Phillips at left guard after naming him the starter at the beginning of the season, though they may opt to stick with Powers for continuity’s sake after multiple reshuffles of the offensive line this season.
Expect More Moves from Baltimore
Ogbuehi’s addition is unlikely to be the last move the Ravens make before the NFL’s November 2 trade deadline.
Even if they see the former first-round pick as a potential starter at right tackle, they could still inquire about players like Morgan Moses of the New York Jets or La’el Collins of the Dallas Cowboys, both of whom would be even bigger upgrades at the position than Ogbuehi.
After giving up more than 300 passing yards for the fourth time this season on Sunday, the Ravens could also be in the market for some help at cornerback. Injuries to All-Pro Marcus Peters and preseason darling Chris Westry have left the Ravens thin at corner, though they’ll have to pay a premium to acquire starting-caliber talent at this point in the season.
Running back is also a position of concern in Baltimore, as the current group has failed to inspire much confidence other than Latavius Murray. Marlon Mack, who is stuck behind Jonathan Taylor in Indianapolis, could be an instant upgrade with a minimal cap hit for the Ravens.
General manager Eric DeCosta is no stranger to making a splash at the deadline, acquiring Peters in 2019 and now-Raider Yannick Ngakoue last year. With a bevy of 2022 draft picks in hand, DeCosta certainly has the assets to make another key addition or two before November 2.