Adding Villanueva continues an offensive line makeover for the Ravens, who signed right guard Kevin Zeitler in March, then drafted Ben Cleveland in the third round over the weekend. The likelihood increased that they would sign a veteran offensive lineman after they did not draft a tackle.
Head Coach John Harbaugh said Tyre Phillips will compete for the right tackle job, but Villanueva gives Baltimore a seasoned veteran as a possible alternative. Villanueva became Pittsburgh’s starting left tackle in 2016 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018.
There was speculation Villanueva might return to Pittsburgh after he hit free agency. However, the Steelers drafted left tackle Dan Moore Jr. from Texas A&M in the fourth round. Moore was a three-year starter at left tackle for the Aggies, and Pittsburgh is hoping he can start immediately.
Undrafted out of Army in 2010, Villanueva served three tours in Afghanistan and was decorated with a bronze star for valor. He resumed his football career in 2014 when he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a defensive end. After being waived by the Eagles, Villanueva was signed by the Steelers, where he switched to offensive tackle.
With the 6-foot-9, 320-pound Villanueva, the Ravens now have a ton of size on their possible starting offensive line: left tackle Ronnie Stanley (6-foot-6, 315 pounds), left guard Cleveland (6-6, 357), center Bradley Bozeman (6-5, 325), right guard Zeitler (6-4, 315), and Villanueva.