Osemele, Gradkowski focus on guard at Ravens minicamp

May 13, 2012|By Matt Vensel | The Baltimore Sun

Kelechi Osemele and Gino Gradkowski were drafted by the Ravens, in part, because of their ability to play multiple offensive line positions, but they spent the majority of the minicamp at guard. Both rookies will compete with Jah Reid for the vacant starting lineup spot at left guard.

Osemele said he played “very, very little” at left tackle, only to give others a breather. He said he struggled to pick up the team’s zone-blocking scheme at first, but got the hang of it Sunday.

“It’s pretty complex,” Osemele, the second of the team’s two second-round picks, explained.

Gradkowski, who the team hopes will be the eventual successor to veteran center Matt Birk, also felt making the transition to professional football this weekend was tough, but was encouraged.

“It was a shaky first step, but it was a step in the right direction,” the fourth-round pick said.

Running back Bernard Pierce, a third-round pick, was impressed with their athleticism.

“They’re good. They’re fast, too, surprisingly,” Pierce said. “I watched a couple of them pull for me in practice, and they actually got out in front of me a little bit. That’s always a plus.”

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