Depending on how much stock you put into Pro Football Focus’s player grades, New Orleans Saints OL Ryan Ramczyk could be viewed as the best offensive rookie of the 2017 NFL Draft class. He graded out consistently higher than fellow Saint (and eventual ROY) Alvin Kamara, Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt, and Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey.
So it should come as no surprise that when Bleacher Report listed one NFL player at each position ready to break out in 2018, that it was Ryan Ryamczyk named at Offensive Tackle.
Whether or not the New Orleans Saints wanted Reuben Foster with the 32nd pick in the 2017 NFL draft, the organization ended up with the right player in offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk.
The first-year blocker bounced from left to right tackle because of injuries among teammates before settling in on the strong side. Ramczyk played every offensive snap last season, per Pro Football Reference, and became a reliable protector for quarterback Drew Brees.
”I think one of the things you see from Ryan is that he’s steady week to week; he’s smart,” head coach Sean Payton said in December, per the Times-Picayune’s Herbie Teope. “It’s very unusual for a rookie to play over there on the left side and play on the right side, but I’d say there’s a maturity level to him and a calmness to him that feels more like a third- or fourth-year pro.”
As the 24-year-old gets comfortable at his new position, his technique and consistency will improve.
”I think fundamentally he’s just improved an awful lot,” offensive line coach Dan Roushar said of Ramczyk’s offseason work, per the Times-Picayune’s Josh Katzenstein.
The rookie ranked seventh among all offensive tackles in pass-blocking efficiency last season, according to Pro Football Focus, and he’ll be even better this fall. Right tackle is more important than ever, and Ramczyk is already one of the best.
Another Saints 2017 rookie, Marcus Williams, was named as an honorable mention at the Safety position, behind Adrian Amos of the Chicago Bears.