In an article from Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun, Zrebiec mentioned the team’s desire to get bigger at center for the future. How aggressive and strong are the players that are fighting for the starting role, is one of the most important things to decide.
Currently, Baltimore has three centers entrenched in a battle for the starting role. John Urschel, Ryan Jensen, and Matt Skura are the combatants. The question is, who will win the position?
“Ravens officials did talk about the need to get bigger and more physical at center after Jeremy Zuttah struggled to hold his ground against big defensive linemen,” said Zrebiec. “At 6 feet 3 and 300 pounds, Urschel is pretty much the same size as Zuttah.”
“Jensen, on the other hand, is listed at 6-4 and 310 pounds, but Harbaugh said that he’s actually 320-plus pounds with less than 20 percent body fat. Plus, Jensen is a little edgier than Urschel and plays through the whistle.”
Both Jensen and Urschel have experience starting on the offensive line, although Jensen hasn’t started at center. Jensen has started in nine games in his career combined at both guard positions. Skura hasn’t played a down yet (he was on the practice squad last season), but his talent has been raved about at times.
Urschel has started in seven games at center. He has a good amount of experience at the position, but doesn’t offer the same size that Jensen does. His play has been pretty solid at center and usually passes the eye test.
Who should it be?
This selection would be extremely tough for Baltimore. All three players present talent in different parts of their game. Jensen is big and very strong. His aggressiveness is great, but it can be a detriment at times when he gets penalties. In 2015, he racked up five penalties for 47 yards.
Skura is very raw and Baltimore may be intrigued with his talent, but his lack of experience will hurt him in the battle. He was a good player at Duke despite being undrafted. Being a part of the practice squad, he didn’t receive as many first-team repetitions as the other two centers.
As for Urschel, he provides the most logical option at the center position, and thus is my pick to be the starter. He has played well in the past and has the experience to boot. You would like to provide quarterback Joe Flacco with the most continuity. After all, Flacco is a large investment, he’s worth protecting.