A full week into free agency, here is one popular question surrounding the Baltimore Ravens ...
— Some Sports Guy (@dtgordo) March 16, 2017
@jamisonhensley: Dunlap and Ryan Clady are the best available offensive tackles remaining in free agency. If safety Eric Weddle remains the Ravens' top recruiter, Dunlap could be the latest Chargers player to make the cross-country exodus, along with running back Danny Woodhead.
Dunlap was a starting left tackle for San Diego, but he has spent time at right tackle earlier in his career with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Ravens don't have someone on the roster that they can immediately plug into the right tackle spot vacated by Rick Wagner (who signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency), and Dunlap would fit the mold of a one- or two-year stopgap at the age of 31.
What the Ravens would be getting out of Dunlap is a solid run blocker who has struggled in pass protection. In 12 games last season, Dunlap allowed five sacks, six quarterback hits and 34 hurries in 435 pass block snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Compare that to Clady, who gave up two sacks, eight hits and 24 hurries in 316 pass block snaps.
The other issue with Dunlap is his arrest last month for violating a protective order. The Ravens can get a detailed scouting report on Dunlap's character and ability to play from new offensive line coach Joe D'Alessandris, who coached him in San Diego for three seasons. So, there is familiarity beyond Weddle and Woodhead.
Both Dunlap and Clady could wait to see if there is an opportunity to play left tackle somewhere because they would earn more that way. But they're considered risks because of their injury history and age. When healthy, Clady is the better player. But, when factoring in cost, Dunlap might end up being a better fit for teams with limited cap room like the Ravens. It would not be surprising to see Baltimore sign a veteran tackle to start this year and draft one in the middle rounds to develop into a starter for the 2018 or 2019 seasons like the team did with Wagner.