When NFL Free Agency began on Monday, the Denver Broncos wasted no time hesitating to fix their most glaring issue — the offensive line.

In 2022, the Broncos led the league in sacks allowed with 63 and struggled to run the ball effectively throughout the season. The issues the offensive line suffered from were clear as day.

They immediately addressed the issue by signing former Baltimore Ravens guard Ben Powers. Powers, considered by many to be the best guard on the market — agreed to a four-year, $52 million contract with $28.5 million guaranteed. 

On paper, the signing is a slam dunk for the team. Pro Football Focus graded the acquisition of Powers with a B+ for fit/need and a B- for value.

Dating back to his college days, he’s consistently shown improvement year in and year out. The biggest jump yet came last year, indicating a high ceiling for the foreseeable future.  

Ben Powers – A Two-Sport Athlete

Ben Powers was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. 

In high school, he was a two-sport athlete competing in wrestling and football. Despite having only two years of experience under his belt, Powers finished second in the state high school wrestling finals. He also lettered in varsity football, though he didn’t receive any major collegiate offers to continue playing — enrolling at Butler Community College.

Within just one season at Butler, he catapulted himself into a highly sought-after Division I prospect. Powers was ranked as a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star prospect by 247Sports and Rivals.

In January 2016, he enrolled at the University of Oklahoma.

As a Sooner, he was a three-year starter who appeared in 38 games. He blocked for two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks — Kyler Murray (2018) and Baker Mayfield (2017) and appeared in the College Football Playoffs in his last two seasons.

Powers started in all 13 games and gave up zero sacks in his last season. He was named a consensus first-team All-American and a first-team All-Big 12 selection by league coaches and the Associated Press.

On top of that, he was also an Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection and a member of an OU offensive line unit that won the Joe Moore Award.

Ben Powers journey to the NFL

The Baltimore Ravens selected him with the 123rd overall pick in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Powers contributed to the team’s record-breaking success in his four seasons with the Ravens.

His blocking skills helped the offense tie a league-record 43 consecutive games (2018-2021) of topping 100 rushing yards. In 2020, the Ravens finished as the number-one rushing unit and set a franchise record with 24 rushing touchdowns.

Going into the final year of his rookie contract in 2022, Powers still had yet to make a name for himself. Not only did he earn the starting job, but according to PFF, he didn’t allow a single sack, and established himself as one of the NFL’s premier blockers among interior offensive linemen. 

He’s also been one of the most durable players, having missed only four games over the past two seasons. 

Now as a member of the Broncos, Powers is set to fill the void left behind by previous starter Dalton Risner.

Though he came at a hefty cost, his strength as a run blocker immediately improves the team’s offensive capabilities. With Sean Payton at the helm, it’s clear the Broncos are going into the 2023 season with winning on their mind.