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The Case for Garrett Bradbury

Ravens Hold the 22nd Overall Pick

April 19, 2019 - 10:44 am
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By Austin Medina  

When the Ravens gear up with the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft this Thursday, there are plenty of ways they can choose to go.

Sure Baltimore can look to grab a gaudy wide receiver such as DK Metcalf from Ole Miss. They can look to sure up their pass rush by drafting a prospect such as Clelin Ferrell from Clemson. A position that the Ravens can certainly upgrade is the offensive line, particularly the interior.

With an aging Marshal Yanda, who albeit is still terrific at age 34, the Ravens can look to select his successor.

Left guard Alex Lewis has missed his fair share of games due to shoulder and neck injuries respectively, so drafting a lineman could add depth and stability.

Center Matt Skura has been a pleasant surprise since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Skura started all 16 games last season, but what if there is a prospect that can serve as an upgrade?

North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury is the total package. He is coming off his senior year at NC State, where he won the Remington Trophy which honors the nation's best center. Originally a tight end, Bradbury possesses quick feet and instincts as an interior lineman. His ability to block laterally in the run game is as impressive as any lineman in this class.

Of course drafting a center in the first round is not the most exciting pick. Many will wonder why the Ravens will look to draft a lineman in the first round, considering their track record with great value, late-round selections. Baltimore has drafted players such as Yanda, Lewis, Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen, and Orlando Brown Jr. from the third round and beyond.

When looking at Bradbury’s tape, you’ll see why the Ravens should consider using a first-round pick on him. Bradbury will be a starter Week 1 and has been a mauler at NC State. Although NC State were womped by the National Champion Clemson Tigers last season, Bradbury held his own against a stacked defensive line. Head to head with first-round talents in Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins, Bradbury showed the agility to move his feet while using surreal strength. At the combine, Bradbury repped 225 an incredible 34 times. 

Bradbury’s strength is in the run game, but that is not to knock his pass blocking. Over his four seasons in college, he allowed just four sacks in more than 1,500 pass-blocking snaps according to Pro Football Focus.

His consistent technique and awareness will translate well in the league. He is the best interior lineman in the class and athletically speaking, he ran a 4.92 40-yard dash along with a 4.53 short shuttle. At 6'3, 306 pounds Bradbury is not excessively big but that may be an advantage for the Ravens who need quicker linemen to run block for Lamar Jackson and Mark Ingram. 

For the Ravens, Bradbury fits the mold along their frontline. As mentioned above, the Ravens can go in a variety of directions when selecting at 22. It is possible that Bradbury will have already been selected before Baltimore can make a decision. 

That said, the Ravens should have an easy decision if he is available. Games are won on the line of scrimmage and adding Bradbury will give the Ravens another mauler to dominate the trenches for the next decade.