Heading into their Week 8 bye, the Baltimore Ravens could be looking to bolster their offensive line after starting right tackle Patrick Mekari reportedly suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
With All-Pro left tackle Ronnie Stanley out for a second consecutive season, the Ravens’ lack of depth at offensive tackle was already a concern. Now, with Mekari potentially sidelined for a month or more, the Ravens have no clear answer at right tackle.
Second-year offensive lineman Tyre Phillips finished Sunday’s game at right tackle after Mekari went down, but his struggles at the position last season will likely have Baltimore looking elsewhere.
Even if Phillips does take over at right tackle in Mekari’s absence, his ability to back up multiple positions on the offensive line, including both tackle spots, will force the Ravens to make yet another addition to their offensive line.
Despite the presence of several offensive tackles on the practice squad, none project as multi-week starters for the Ravens. Some, like undrafted rookie Adrian Ealy, are developmental projects, while others, like veteran Andre Smith, are stopgap options at best.
While general manager Eric DeCosta will likely be contacting his colleagues around the NFL regarding a potential trade for an offensive tackle, the Ravens also have some options available right now.
Here are three free agents that the Ravens could sign that would provide an immediate upgrade at right tackle.
Ogbuehi was released yesterday by the Seattle Seahawks, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, a move that couldn’t come at a better time for the Ravens. With only 30 career starts to his name, Ogbuehi is a less-experienced option, though almost all of those starts have come at right tackle.
The 21st pick in the 2015 NFL Draft is better at run blocking than pass protection, though he only allowed one quarterback pressure during his lone start this season against the San Francisco 49ers.
He started four games in Seattle last year and struggled against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12 before finishing the year with three straight games with a run blocking grade over 73.0 from Pro Football Focus.
At 29 years old, Ogbuehi could be a worthwhile flier for the rest of the season to give the Ravens another option at right tackle.
Dotson turned 36 years old on October 11, but don’t let his age fool you. He’s been a reliable tackle for almost all of his 12-year career, first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then with the Denver Broncos.
He’s made 114 career starts at tackle, most of which have come on the right side, including 62 over the past five years. The Ravens would be wise to at least have Dotson in for a workout, and if he’s maintained his physique and fitness since leaving Denver at the end of last season, he could be an affordable veteran with a pedigree of solid right tackle play.
Dotson is known primarily as a pass protector; he’s finished with a Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade under 70.0 only twice in his career, with four seasons with 79.5 grade or better. He quietly put up a solid eight starts for the Broncos last year, limiting his matchups to zero sacks and just eight pressures in over 450 snaps.
His age is a question mark, but at this point, the Ravens need help at tackle wherever they can find it.
Schwartz is easily the best right tackle on the market at the moment, with nine seasons of stellar play under his belt. The only reason he’s still available is his ongoing recovery from last season’s back injury, which ended his streak of 134 consecutive starts at right tackle dating back to Week 1 of his rookie year.
A brief look at the 2018 and 2019 seasons shows why Schwartz is such an attractive option for Baltimore. He earned PFF grades of 84.0 or better both years, including a sterling 2019 in which Schwartz didn’t allow a single sack in over 1,000 snaps.
The former Cal Golden Bear was already recommended as an addition to the Ravens earlier this season, with his health the only question mark surrounding the nine-year veteran. If he’s made progress in his recovery from February’s back surgery, he’d be a massive upgrade to Baltimore’s offensive line.