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  1. #1

    Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    I think it was heavily speculated that because Center was a position of weakness, it would be a top draft target. Guys like Dickerson, Humphrey, Meinerz as popular mocks for us.

    However, what the Ben Cleveland pick all but confirms is the main problem the Ravens brass was seeing in fact lied with Bradley Bozeman's fit at Guard in a power running scheme. That's not to say they didn't also identify Mekari being a somewhat sub-par starting Center... but the solution they saw was not a 1-for-1 swap with Mekari and a superior Center and continuing to play Bozeman at LG.

    They like Bozeman, but he was limiting the things they wanted to do with the power scheme/approach. Bozeman is not a physical presence, not one of their prototype road-grading Guards like a Grubbs/Osemele/Yanda that can move bodies and impose their will. Bozeman is a pretty big dude but his power output doesn't match it. This is a big reason why Bozeman pulls so much, they know they need to get him out in space where he can make up for his lack of raw power at the point of attack.

    Cleveland/Zeitler allow them to play the style they're intending to. Maul guys at the point of attack and move bodies off the line along the interior. Less reliance on pulling concepts and more north/south power running.

    They still like Bozeman but are much happier with him at Center rather than leaving him at LG and simply upgrading Mekari with a better Center in the draft. Two birds with one stone if you will.
    Last edited by sflegend89; 05-01-2021 at 01:21 AM.





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  3. #3
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    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    There's no way Bozeman can be nearly as bad as Skura and Mekari were at center. I think it was smart to patch up both guards then move Bozeman to center, which was his position in college. At least it seems that's their plan at this point in time.
    90% of the game is half mental





  4. #4

    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    I think its a good plan, especially considering the fact that they really didn't have a chance at any of the centers in this draft. All of the good ones were gone by the end of 2. I think it'll work out well for them. Also too, Bozeman has 3 years of experience in this system with Lamar and Roman. So he won't need time learning anything. I think at the end of this draft our only glaring hole will be at Safety. And maybe TE if you feel like our offense must have 3 TE's.





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    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    sounds like they’re high on a Bredeson at center as well. Point is they’ve spent a lot of draft capital on OL last few years on top of piling money at it and they believe in their guys. Lotta talk around here about how much draft capital has been spent on receivers but the combination of draft and cap dollars spent on OL isn’t much different. All I can do is hope they’re right but I trust them on OL





  6. #6
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    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by sflegend89 View Post
    However, what the Ben Cleveland pick all but confirms is the main problem the Ravens brass was seeing in fact lied with Bradley Bozeman's fit at Guard in a power running scheme.
    I agree with your top-line conclusion, that the Ravens weren't planning to draft a center. But I don't agree with this line of reasoning. I think the reason they had Boze pull so much is because he's damn excellent at it. Finds his target, reads & adjusts around trash, makes a solid strike.

    There's no way they didn't identify center as an area of need, what with Skura playing on roller skates against bull rushers, and a truly comical number of bad snaps on the season. At least two games lost to bad snaps well: maybe not "lost", but the chance to come back was snuffed out by bad snaps and I'm not even sure the snaps were the worst aspect of the play from that position.

    Three straight years of center being the weak link (or part of it) in the playoffs.



    Quote Originally Posted by sflegend89 View Post
    They still like Bozeman but are much happier with him at Center rather than leaving him at LG
    Yes.

    Which is fucking infuriating, bc they coulda and shoulda moved him to C last offseason! The commitment to Skura, who was rehabbing the knee and was never exactly a Pro Bowler, was mystifying. Boze was a 3-yr starter at C in Alabama! An obvious upgrade from Skura.

    I get playing Boze at LG in 2018. Acclimate him to the NFL: fine. But he should have been moved over for 2019, and definitely should have been moved for 2020.
    (But I can understand not moving Boze from LG in-season, after C became an emergency. We'd already lost Ronnie Stanley: leave an experienced LG next to Orlando, in case he needs help at LT.)

    Feels like we wasted two years of OL play, on not using Boze to fix the center position.



    Quote Originally Posted by sflegend89 View Post
    Cleveland/Zeitler allow them to play the style they're intending to. Maul guys at the point of attack and move bodies off the line along the interior. Less reliance on pulling concepts and more north/south power running.
    I dunno: I think Roman loves those pulling concepts. Also he says it's an important component of play action.

    I expect Tyre P will be in the mix at LG. Presumably ahead of Cleveland on the depth chart, at least heading into OTAs or camp. I mention this because Cole GWNR said that Tyre P is good at pulling, or an intriguing prospect on pulls, or something like that.

    Do we know anything about Cleveland as a puller?





  7. #7

    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by JimZipCode View Post
    I agree with your top-line conclusion, that the Ravens weren't planning to draft a center. But I don't agree with this line of reasoning. I think the reason they had Boze pull so much is because he's damn excellent at it. Finds his target, reads & adjusts around trash, makes a solid strike.

    There's no way they didn't identify center as an area of need, what with Skura playing on roller skates against bull rushers, and a truly comical number of bad snaps on the season. At least two games lost to bad snaps – well: maybe not "lost", but the chance to come back was snuffed out by bad snaps – and I'm not even sure the snaps were the worst aspect of the play from that position.

    Three straight years of center being the weak link (or part of it) in the playoffs.



    Yes.

    Which is fucking infuriating, bc they coulda and shoulda moved him to C last offseason! The commitment to Skura, who was rehabbing the knee and was never exactly a Pro Bowler, was mystifying. Boze was a 3-yr starter at C in Alabama! An obvious upgrade from Skura.

    I get playing Boze at LG in 2018. Acclimate him to the NFL: fine. But he should have been moved over for 2019, and definitely should have been moved for 2020.
    (But I can understand not moving Boze from LG in-season, after C became an emergency. We'd already lost Ronnie Stanley: leave an experienced LG next to Orlando, in case he needs help at LT.)

    Feels like we wasted two years of OL play, on not using Boze to fix the center position.



    I dunno: I think Roman loves those pulling concepts. Also he says it's an important component of play action.

    I expect Tyre P will be in the mix at LG. Presumably ahead of Cleveland on the depth chart, at least heading into OTAs or camp. I mention this because Cole GWNR said that Tyre P is good at pulling, or an intriguing prospect on pulls, or something like that.

    Do we know anything about Cleveland as a puller?
    Cleveland is too top heavy and slow to be an effective puller IMO. He had occasional pulling reps at UGA and they were just ok. And just ok against college competition isn't gonna cut it in the NFL. Cleveland is perfect for blasting people off the LOS and generating push.





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    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by BRfan96 View Post
    Cleveland is too top heavy and slow ...
    He ran a 5-flat 40.





  9. #9

    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by JimZipCode View Post
    He ran a 5-flat 40.
    Ok, that's great. That literally has nothing to do with his pulling ability. It should, but a lot of the time OL 40 times don't translate for squat on pullin ability.

    Pulling ability has a lot more to do with being able to aim your hips and hands while on the move. You can't go too fast because a lot of the times you're looking for your target, but you do have to move fast enough to generate pop, push, and punishment (that's how I teach it to OL anyway). The last thing you want to do is totally whiff on your block and get your RB killed. What determines how fast and effective you pull is based on your speed, but also your fluidity in your hips, your ability to redirect your momentum, and your ability to accurately lay into someone.

    Cleveland is too top heavy and slow. His hips are stiffer and tighter than my grandmas, and he routinely tries to land all of his punches with the full force of his shoulders and head behind them i.e. he always has to duck and lean into his contact moments. He can't trust just his punch with just his hands and arms (which is stupid, he's incredibly strong just use your arms, chest and hands man). Anyway, he relies too much on his entire upper body and really most of his torso, this causes him to be much slower when pulling because A) he has to move slow to begin with because he's tight, can't redirect, and doesn't want to miss and B) in order for him to make contact like he likes he needs to completely square someone up and take time to load himself up to lay all of his massive self into them.

    I love Cleveland as a road grader, line pusher, pass protector and all around bouncer................but if his assignment is out in space, he's less than half effective. He's a liability almost at that point





  10. #10
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    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by BRfan96 View Post
    Cleveland is too top heavy and slow to be an effective puller IMO. He had occasional pulling reps at UGA and they were just ok. And just ok against college competition isn't gonna cut it in the NFL. Cleveland is perfect for blasting people off the LOS and generating push.
    Yeah, it certainly makes you think RG. Knowing Stanley can pull all the way from LT, I wonder about pulling Stanley and Bozeman from C and leaving Cleveland in place.

    Idunno, I'm just happy it seems like Bozeman's going back to C.





  11. #11
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    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    Good thread. Myself and posters like Cole have been talking about moving Bozeman to center for the last two years for the exact reasons you listed and now its finally happening most likely

    Bozeman is good but he just isn't good enough to get it done at guard and has limitations. He will be much more effective at Center for us where he blocks in a phone booth





  12. #12
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    Re: Ravens Didn't Want A Center In Draft

    Quote Originally Posted by BRfan96 View Post
    Cleveland is too top heavy and slow to be an effective puller IMO. He had occasional pulling reps at UGA and they were just ok. And just ok against college competition isn't gonna cut it in the NFL. Cleveland is perfect for blasting people off the LOS and generating push.
    We've just seen Bozeman pull for the last two years at such a high level and the guy is significantly less athletic than Cleveland





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