Baltimore Ravens sign Kelechi Osemele

The Baltimore Ravens have signed former Iowa State Cyclones offensive tackle Kelechi Osemele to a four-year deal. The 22-year-old is expected to kick inside and could compete with sophomore Jah Reid for the left guard spot on the Ravens, who wanted some more interior offensive linemen heading into the draft.

Dec 30, 2011; Bronx, NY, USA; Iowa State Cyclones offensive linesman Kelechi Osemele (72) during the first quarter against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The 6’6″, 333 pound tackle was an All-Big 12 selection at ISU, and he was a four-year starter in the Big 12. Kansas Jayhawks fans are familiar with Osemele, and he is certainly a versatile offensive lineman having played at both left tackle and right guard during his time playing college football.

Kelechi Osemele was taken with the 60th pick in the draft in the late second round and is regarded for his good size, and the Ravens are hoping that Osemele can become the heir to star Ben Grubbs at guard. Grubbs, of course, is no longer with the team. It should be noted that Osemele has not played on the interior since his freshman year with the Cyclones.

At the combine, Osemele ran a 5.36 forty, had 32 reps on the bench press, finished with an 8’8″ broad jump, had a 7.91 three-cone drill, had a 26.5-inch vertical, and he had a 4.87 20-yard shuttle time.

If Osemele can get coached up and better his technique (especially his footwork), he can become a solid starting guard in this league. A knock on the big man is that he lacks a killer instinct, and his lateral movement is poor, which falls under his subpar technique/footwork. Still, I don’t buy the whole “killer instinct” angle at all, because he was an All-Big 12 selection and it seems like a crutch argument as a whole.

He was rated as one of the best interior offensive line prospects in the country leading up to the draft, and his work ethic and leadership are off the charts; he’s a guy who you love having on your team. Kelechi Osemele is surprisingly quick, he’s got long arms, he’s a quality pass blocker, and he is a great run blocker as well.

The future guard was a definite second round prospect, and he fits the Ravens well. Unless of Reid can turn things around, the LG spot is Osemele’s for the taking. The high character guard is viewed by FanSided draft site NFL Mocks as comparative to a less athletic version of Mike Iupati. I’m sure the Ravens will take that, as Iupati is one of the best young guards in the NFL and is a talented run blocker.