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Offensive Line Notes: Training Camp Battles

An in-depth look at the positions up for grabs this preseason, and the players to watch in training camp

Around the league there are several unsettled positions. Before training camp starts, let’s handicap these races. These odds attempt to predict the opening day starter.  

For those unfamiliar with the notation of these odds, here is a calculator to convert Vegas style fractional odds to probability percentages. Here are the full rankings

Baltimore's Left Guard

Odds of being the opening day starter:

  • John Urschel: 3/5 (favorite)
  • Ryan Jensen: 4/1
  • Vlad Ducasse 9/1
  • Alex Lewis [R]: 12/1

The Ravens let Pro Bowl left guard Kelechi Osemele hit free agency and in his absence there is a free-for-all to replace him.

Off the field, John Urschel is known for acing his PhD math classes at MIT. On the field, he’s entering his third season, and has started ten games for the Ravens, including seven last season at center in place of Jeremy Zuttah. Urschel proved himself capable and he can probably start in this league. It appears the Ravens will give him the first opportunity, and that is why he is the favorite. If Urschel is not up to the challenge, other names become more relevant.

Ryan Jensen started six games last season at left guard and the coaches like his mean streak. He is entering his fourth season and should be Urschel’s closest competition in camp. Vlad Ducasse was signed in free agency but is not certain to make the roster. Ducasse has started twenty-two games in his career and the team might want a more seasoned veteran next to rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Alex Lewis is a promising fourth round rookie left guard from Nebraska. While he likely makes the roster, day three draft picks don’t often crack the week one starting lineup as rookies. The Ravens actually have interesting names at the left guard position, and it will be interesting to see who emerges from the pack.

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