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Baltimore’s right tackle spot is somewhat up in the air, as Marshal Yanda and Jared Gaither could end up as free agents once the 2011 collective bargaining rules are set.
Thus, the Ravens added an option possibly for the present and definitely for the future by drafting Central Florida tackle Jah Reid in the third round Friday night.
“He’ll be competing for the right tackle spot right out of the gate and we’ll see where it goes,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He’s young, he’s a little bit developmental, but I think he’s going to develop fast.”
“This is a guy we all like. He’s big, he can bend, he’s very physical and he’s on the upswing.”
Reid is a massive 6-foot-7, 330-pound three-year starter who has had a buzz around him. ESPN’s Todd McShay said he’s “very underrated” and has a chance to be a starter.
The Ravens traded up five spots to No. 85 to make sure they snared Reid. Baltimore gave up its 90th pick and 191st (sixth round) to the Philadelphia Eagles to move up.
As soon as last season ended, the Ravens said improving their run game was a top priority. They averaged 3.8 yards per carry last season, tied with three other teams for the third fewest in the league.
Baltimore took a step towards solving that issue with Reid.
“He’s kind of mean,” Harbaugh said. “He’s a tough, hard-nosed player. On the right side, with the offense we’re trying to build, he’s a guy that can be a run blocker.”
The Ravens raved about his ability to bend for a player his size, meaning Reid can drop his hips and uncoil on defensive linemen to open big holes.
He was named to the All-Conference USA first team as a senior and the coaches’ all-conference team as a junior. Reid finished his career starting 33 games in a row.
The Ravens held a personal workout with him and also brought him to their facility in Owings Mills as one of its 30 interviewees.
“[We] went down to the East-West game and he stands out just standing there,” Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz said. “He’s a huge man, and you just watch him and get to know him and he’s got a great work ethic. He’s big, he’s tough and he’s smart. Those are three good qualities for an offensive lineman.”