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Ravens trade for Zuttah, continue to upgrade o-line

Jeremy Zuttah will give the Ravens a boost in the middle of their offensive line.
Jeremy Zuttah will give the Ravens a boost in the middle of their offensive line.
Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens continued their strong offseason by trading a fifth round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for center/guard Jeremy Zuttah.

The offensive line was a major issue last season and the Ravens seem intent on making sure that doesn't happen again. Since the end of last season, Ozzie Newsome has said numerous times that the team will look to improve the offensive line across the board.

It remains to be seen whether the Ravens view Zuttah was a center or guard, but you would think he is locked into a starting spot.

It seems more likely than not that Zuttah would be the team's center after Gino Gradkowski struggled so much there last season and the fact that the team had strong interest in Cleveland's Alex Mack. The move likely pushes Gradkowski into a backup role as the team's

Zuttah played all three interior line positions for the Buccaneers, so his versatility is key, especially in the event of injuries.

At 27, Zuttah is in the prime of his career. He played his college ball at Rutgers with running back Ray Rice, so that could help from a chemistry standpoint. He also grew up in New Jersey and became friends with fellow line-mate Eugene Monroe.

Give Newsome and the rest of the front office a lot of credit on this move. They acquired a starting offensive lineman at a position of great need for a mid-round pick in next year's draft. Knowing the Ravens, they will probably end up with a compensation pick to make up for the lost fifth-rounder anyway.

It also gives the Ravens even more flexibility heading into this year's NFL Draft, as they won't be as concerned about the offensive line. It seems like finding a free safety to start alongside Matt Elam will now be the priority.

Notes: The Ravens also found out the compensation picks it was rewarded for this year's draft, and it should make fans very happy. The Ravens were given a third round pick for Paul Kruger, two fourth round picks for Dannell Ellerbe and Cary Williams and a fifth round pick for Ed Reed. The third and the fifth round picks should be a felony charge for robbery.

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