<
>

Grading Ravens' left tackles since Jonathan Ogden

James Hurst becomes the first rookie to start at left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens since Michael Oher in 2009.

Hurst gets this opportunity after not being among the 24 offensive tackles drafted in 2014. Considered a mid-round prospect during his senior season, he broke his left leg in his final game in college.

"It has been a long journey -- a lot of ups and downs, but mostly ups," Hurst said. "And right now is an opportunity for me. I’m excited about it. I’m going to put in all the work that I can to be responsible for my job on Sunday."

Hurst also becomes the sixth player to start at left tackle since Hall of Fame lineman Jonathan Ogden retired seven years ago. Let's grade the other players who have started at left tackle since Ogden left:

Jared Gaither: He had the size, strength and athleticism to become a Pro Bowl left tackle. All that talent went to waste because Gaither lacked work ethic and toughness. The Ravens couldn't trust him to be ready to play every week, which is the last thing you want out of someone protecting the quarterback's blind side. Gaither still has the second-most starts at left tackle (26) since Ogden retired. Grade: C-minus.

Adam Terry: The second-round disappointment's reputation for being soft only grew after his one start at left tackle in 2008. He suffered a concussion late in the first quarter after playing 14 snaps and allowing one quarterback hit. Terry never started at left tackle again. Grade: F.

Oher: Even though his life story was told in the book and movie "The Blind Side," Oher was a better fit at right tackle. He lacked the length and footwork needed to be a top-notch left tackle. The Ravens were able to win with Oher at left tackle, but he was a liability on the left side. He allowed 12 sacks in 2012, his final season on the blind side. Unlike Gaither and Bryant McKinnie, the Ravens could always count on Oher to be there on Sundays. His 37 starts at left tackle are the most by anyone since Ogden left. Grade: C.

Bryant McKinnie: He turned out to be a more experienced version of Gaither. McKinnie had the measurables you wanted in a left tackle. He just didn't want to put in the work. His weight became the basis for a soap opera in his two offseasons in Baltimore. Still, McKinnie's strong play in the 2012 playoffs played a big part in the Ravens winning a Super Bowl that season. So, McKinnie gets an 'A' for those four postseason games in 2012. He gets a 'D' for the rest of his time with the Ravens. Grade: C.

Eugene Monroe: He's not going to live up to the expectations of being the No. 8 overall pick in the 2009 draft, and he's not going to go to a Pro Bowl. But Monroe is clearly the best left tackle the Ravens have had since Ogden. He's athletic, smart and a hard worker. Monroe tried to play with a knee injury last Sunday but he wasn't effective. He had minor knee surgery on Wednesday, which is expected to sideline him for three to four weeks. Grade: B.