By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens have made a move to sign Cedric Ogbuehi to the practice squad according to reports. Meanwhile, Nick Boyle and Derek Wolfe should return to the action against the Minnesota Vikings. The Ravens will have a little more help after the bye week. What kind of an impact can they expect from these three players? Is it enough?
Let’s start on the defense with Derek Wolfe. Wolfe coming back isn’t necessarily a game-changer, though it clearly doesn’t hurt. The biggest problems for the Ravens defensively are the big plays given up in the backend and a collective lack of tackling prowess. Wolfe isn’t solving either of those problems, but his impact will be felt by a defensive line that needed an extra body.
Wolfe is a physical player who plays the game aggressively. Getting Wolfe back could give the Ravens a little more of an edge. Other than Calais Campbell, no defensive lineman has been a consistent performer this season.
There are games where the defensive line fails to even leave an impression. The Ravens just got a little more power up front against the run. For the pass defense, Wolfe could get a few sacks and he’ll surely push the pocket a bit more. Having Wolfe opposite of Campbell gives the Ravens lots of length on both sides and it could affect the passing lanes for opposing quarterbacks.
The Baltimore Ravens are Boyle Loyal
For the offense, the biggest impact is going to be Nick Boyle coming back. Boyle is something every struggling offensive line could use. Getting Boyle back will help the Ravens spring larger runs because of the role he plays as a blocker. Boyle will also be used to help out the right tackle situation. Having Boyle next to Ogbuehi (Or Phillips) will be a huge help more often than not.
The Ravens are getting the best blocking tight end in the league back. To run the football effectively, the Ravens may need Boyle and Pat Ricard to lead the way and to make it possible as a tag team. You probably never imagined the Ravens having a hard time getting running backs going, but here we are.
Boyle is good for two or three fewer hits on Lamar Jackson per game. He’s good for two or three crucial run blocks that set up important plays per game. Let’s not shortchange Boyle as a pass-catcher. In the 2019 season, Boyle had 31 receptions. That was one more catch than Hayden Hurst had. Jackson loves throwing Boyle the ball. The short passing game could become very important with Pat Mekari out at right tackle. Boyle could be a secret weapon back in the mix.
Now let’s talk about Cedric Ogbuehi. The Ravens signed the recently released right tackle to presumably fill at right tackle. Ogbuehi has a chance to give the Ravens enough at the right tackle position to get by. He’s been in the league since 2015. Being a former Cincinnati Bengals, I’m familiar with Ogbuehi to a point.
Pat Mekari really wasn’t an offensive tackle, and his lack of length was a problem he had to deal with. Ogbuehi is 6’5″ with longer arms and he’ll be playing his natural position. The Ravens can’t realistically throw Tyre Phillips at right tackle and expect good results. Ogbuehi should play above the level of Phillips.
If Ogbuehi is just serviceable, the Ravens will take it. Phillips can’t hold down right tackle. Phillips has a chance to be a decent guard, however, if we’ve learned only one thing about him it’s that we don’t want to see him on the outside. It’s ugly.
Wolfe and Boyle are known commodities. We know what they’ll pitch in for the Baltimore Ravens. It’s a bit of a wait-and-see situation for Ogbuehi. The Ravens should get credit for a legitimate stab at finding a fill-in when the next man up clearly wasn’t on the roster.
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It’s worth noting that the Ravens could get back Sammy Watkins and Chris Westty after the bye as well. Reinforcements are coming. They should help. The Ravens still need to step up their game to reach the ultimate goal.