2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Digital Edition

Blue & Gold Illustrated: 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview

Issue link: https://comanpub.uberflip.com/i/1264448

Contents of this Issue


Page 143 of 163

142 ✦ BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW BY ANDREW MENTOCK Ronnie Stanley Proves To Be The League's Top Left Tackle P rior to the 2019 NFL season, Jamison Hensley of ESPN profiled former Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley, writing about how the No. 6 overall pick in the 2016 draft had developed a taste for food from "chic" res- taurants and "$364 steak." In addition to showing that Stanley's re- fined palate is unique compared to other hulking offensive linemen, the piece also informed readers that the man with such an expensive appetite was also expecting a huge payday once his rookie contract was up after the season. At the time, Stanley was still on his rookie deal and, while oozing with potential, he hadn't broken out like the other top seven picks in his draft who had made the NFL Pro Bowl prior to the 2019 season. Would Stanley deserve to be paid like a top-tier left tackle when the time came? At the conclusion of the 2019 season, Stanley left no doubt the answer is a re- sounding "yes" by becoming the best left tackle in the NFL. He was named first-team All-Pro and garnered the league's highest Pro Football Focus (PFF) pass-blocking grade by not giving up a sack and allowing just six quarterback pressures for the entirety of the season. "The next best pressure rate of any tackle in the league surrendered almost three times the pressure over the season [17 total] ... resulting in a PFF pass-blocking grade more than eight points lower than Stanley's," PFF's Sam Monson noted. "Stanley's PFF pass-blocking grade of 93.7 isn't just the best mark for tackles this season, it's one of the best grades we've ever given to a tackle." It also helps that Stanley plays one of the toughest positions in the NFL and his job is to protect one of the most valuable assets in the league in 2019 MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. On the first day of free agency, the Ravens locked up Stanley for another year by pick- ing up the fifth-year option on his contract for $12,866,000, almost double the value of his 2019 salary. At the time of press, Balti- more is working on an extension for Stanley, increasing the number of $364 steaks he can afford on an annual basis. In April, Houston Texans left tackle Lar- emy Tunsil signed a three-year, $66-million extension, making him the highest-paid player at his position. Like Stanley, Tunsil made the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2019, but he wasn't also an All-Pro selec- tion. Both are relatively the same age and came from the 2016 draft class, with Tunsil the No. 13 overall selection by the Miami Dolphins. All this is to say that Stanley's value is higher than Tunsil's, and any contract he signs should reflect that. "I definitely want to get paid my value and what I feel I'm worth," Stanley said during a video conference call with Baltimore report- ers. "That part of it is important. But, at the end of the day, I don't think money is the most important thing to me." Stanley was named first-team All-Pro and posted the NFL's top pass-blocking grade (93.7) from PFF in 2019. PHOTO COURTESY BALTIMORE RAVENS IRISH IN THE IRISH IN THE NFL NFL

Articles in this issue

view archives of 2020 Notre Dame Football Preview - Digital Edition