OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- It's been assumed that the starting left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens will be either Bryant McKinnie or Michael Oher. You can add a third player to the mix and he looks like the top candidate as it stands now.
Kelechi Osemele, a promising second-year lineman, could end up protecting Joe Flacco's blind side, Ravens officials said Tuesday. As a rookie second-round pick last season, Osemele started 16 games at right tackle and four playoff games at left guard.
Now, Osemele could be starting at his third spot. This wouldn't be a new position for Osemele, who started at left tackle at Iowa State.
"If we had to line up today with the group that we have, I think John (Harbaugh, coach) told (owner) Steve Bisciotti that KO would get that opportunity," general manager Ozzie Newsome said.
There's still a chance that McKinnie could return as the starting left tackle. Newsome said the talks with McKinnie "has been very good," although no deal is imminent. McKinnie stepped up to start all four playoff games after being benched for most of the regular season.
"When we open up our first game this year, could he be our left tackle?," Newsome said of McKinnie. "He potentially could be. Could KO be our left tackle? He could potentially be our left tackle, too. We are very open."
If the Ravens are going with either Osemele or McKinnie, that allows Michael Oher to stay at right tackle, which is his natural position.