Ronnie Stanley Is One of the NFL’s Best Kept Secrets
The first five picks of the 2016 NFL Draft were Jared Goff, Carson
Wentz, Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, and Jalen Ramsey. Thus, it can be
easy to forget about the contributions of an offensive lineman taken
But entering his fourth season in Baltimore, Ronnie Stanley has
quietly developed into one of the top left tackles in the NFL.
“To call Stanley’s first three years in the NFL anything but a
success would be a lie,” Pro Football Focus’ William Moy wrote.
“The big man out of Notre Dame has logged at least 834 snaps in all
three seasons as a pro so far, and his lowest overall grade in a
season came as a rookie when he earned a mark of 74.8. Stanley has
gotten off to one of the best starts to an NFL career that we’ve seen
in the PFF era (2006 – present) from a left tackle.”
According to PFF, Stanley posted his best overall grade last season
(75.8) in 15 starts. He anchored the left side for Joe Flacco and
Lamar Jackson, helping transform the Ravens’ offense into a run-first
“Stanley is one of the better left tackles in the NFL and the
unquestioned starter on the Ravens’ roster for a reason,” Baltimore
Beatdown’s Kyle Barber wrote. “He’s certainly lived up to his
sixth-overall selection. The Ravens picked up his fifth-year option
for a reason.”
Against the run, Stanley’s “8.1% negatively graded block rate ranks third-best” out of 30 left tackles with at least 500 run-blocking snaps.
“Stanley is a quick-twitch tackle with great size and top-tier hand placement,” Barber wrote. “He continues to be a smart technician at left tackle, whose work on the edge revolves around decision-making. Stanley moves with purpose. Each step, each hand placement and pivot is made as a chess-master slides pieces upon a board.”
One of Stanley’s distinct strengths is his durability. While he’s yet to play a full 16-game season, Barber believes he still has a strong track record.
“[Stanley] has missed six games in the past three seasons, with three coming in his rookie season,” Barber wrote. “That’s not a lot, no, but he’s such a critical component that the loss is crippling at times when absent. I think this is way too overblown by fans and critics, seeing as Stanley is playing one of the toughest positions in the NFL, while doing so in the physical AFC North. Injuries are going to happen.”
Barber is right. Not only has Stanley battled through injuries during his career, but he’s also played at a high level while doing so.
“Since 2006, there have been 29 players to log at least 2,000 snaps at left tackle over their first three seasons. Among that group, Stanley ranks ninth with a 78.8 overall grade across that window,” Moy wrote.
Stanley’s stock is trending up in the eyes of pundits, and they’re certainly buying into the hype. So are the Ravens, who picked up Stanley’s fifth-year option this offseason. The five players drafted ahead of Stanley have all gone to a Pro Bowl. So has the one drafted just behind him, 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner.
“[I]t wouldn’t be surprising if we were referring to him as All-Pro Ronnie Stanley this time next year,” Moy wrote.