Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday the competition for the starting left guard position was still ongoing. One day later, the battle became smaller.
The Ravens traded guard Jermaine Eluemunor to the New England Patriots for an undisclosed draft pick pending the passing of a physical, the team confirmed Wednesday night on Twitter. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday the Ravens also sent a sixth-round pick to New England in exchange for the Patriots’ fourth-round pick.
Eluemunor’s trade leaves do-it-all offensive lineman James Hurst, fourth-round draft pick Ben Powers, undrafted rookie Patrick Mekari and second-year Bradley Bozeman in the mix to win the starting left guard job.
Eluemunor was set to begin training camp as the left guard on the first-team offense, but the third-year offensive lineman failed his conditioning test and had to wait a day to join his teammates on the practice field. Upon his return, Eluemunor reclaimed his position and started in the Ravens’ first two preseason games, but he never played consistently enough to put an end to the competition.
He left Baltimore’s joint practice with the Eagles early last Monday and sat out of the preseason game between the teams three days later. He returned to practice on Sunday. Bozeman started in his place.
Eluemunor, a fifth-round pick out of Texas A&M in 2017, has appeared in 17 games with three starts in his first two seasons.
The Ravens concluded the preseason Thursday night in Washington. It left one final dress rehearsal to find an in-house starting left guard. The possibility remains that Baltimore could make a trade or sign a player who gets released from another team when all franchises are required to trim their rosters from 90 to 53 players by 4 p.m. Saturday.
“Oh yes, it’s still open. We haven’t decided,” Harbaugh said Tuesday. “I’m sure there are people in the building, coaches and such, who have their opinions, but I’m very open right now. It will probably, in all honesty, remain a competition until somebody establishes themselves as the established starter. There’s a difference between being a starter and an established starter. That person is going to have to continue to earn that by how they play into the regular season, and I’m quite sure a certain one or more guys will step up.
“All of those guys are going to be really good players in this league. It’s just a matter of how quickly and what the fit is for us. I like all of those guys.”
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig