When the Baltimore Ravens drafted Ronnie Stanley this year, there were a few raised eyebrows because the team was expected to use their pick on Laremy Tunsil from Ole Miss. The Ravens decided not to draft Tunsil because a video of him smoking marijuana was posted on his social media account before the start of the draft. Despite the fact that the Ravens went with their second option, the team has no regrets because Stanley has been great so far this preseason. After a disappointing season filled with injuries, the Ravens are NFL expert picks favorites to win a Wild Card playoff spot.
According to Pro Football Focus, Stanley has not only been great so far in the preseason, but he has also been perfect. The rookie has not allowed a sack, no quarterback hurries, and also hasn’t let anyone hit the quarterback. He has protected the blind side of the team’s backups in the first two preseason games, and the team is hoping he continues his streak when Joe Flacco returns to the lineup this week.
Marc Trestman, the Ravens offensive coordinator, said that when he looks at Stanley, he doesn’t see anything that tells him that the game will be too big for him or that he will panic once the regular season starts. Even though the left tackle position is very important, Trestman believes Stanley will be able to handle the pressure when the season starts. Trestman also said he believes Stanley will have an outstanding NFL career from the little he has seen from the rookie.
Joe Flacco, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last year, echoed the sentiments of his coaches. Flacco said he is confident in Stanley’s ability to protect his blind side and doesn’t have a problem with a rookie on the field if he is playing very well.
Stanley is a pass protection specialist, and he is very quick and athletic for an offensive lineman. He uses his athleticism to keep the pass rushers in front of him, keeping them away from the quarterback. During his final season at Notre Dame, Stanley had the fourth-highest pass blocking efficiency against competition from Power 5 conferences.
At the halfway point of the preseason, Stanley is the highest graded rookie offensive lineman, which is something the Ravens hope he will maintain once the regular season starts. Stanley told reporters that he understood that being drafted as high as he was, he is one of the five people responsible for keeping Flacco healthy, and he said he is up to the task.
However, Stanley is going to be tested in Flacco’s first game back because they are playing the Detroit Lions and Stanley will be matched up against Ezekiel Ansah, who is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and finished third in the league last season with 14.5 sacks.
Trestman said he wasn’t worried about Staley facing Ansah because he will be confronted with a lot of talented pass rushers this season and there’s no way to avoid that. The coordinator added that he is confident in Stanley’s ability to hold his own against the best pass rushers in the league because the rookie is very focused and is just trying to do his job as well as he can.