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Pros and cons of Bradley Bozeman potentially moving to center

NFL: AFC Wild Card Round-Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Ravens are looking to bolster their offensive line this offseason. How they do so remains to be seen, but speculation and ideas have continued to run rampant over the past several weeks.

The Ravens have options to upgrade the offensive line. There are a handful of returning players on the roster who are “versatile”, that is they’re billed having the ability to play multiple positions. This means the Ravens can shuffle players around and try different combinations, if they see fit. This happened quite a bit last season.

One potential change is moving Bradley Bozeman from left guard to center. It’s an idea that has been floated around by many for quite some time now. However, it’s never something the Ravens have actually experimented with. It sounds like they may finally explore it as an option this offseason:

With this in mind, let’s explore some of the pros and cons of this idea.

Pros —

Two words that describe Bozeman well are steady and solid. As the Ravens starting left guard for the past two seasons, Bozeman has developed into a consistent, above-average offensive lineman. He rarely makes glaring mistakes and has improved as a blocker.

Two things the Ravens did not get from the center position in 2020 were steady and solid play. It’s hard to imagine Bozeman struggling to snap the ball to the degree that Matt Skura and Patrick Mekari did on numerous occasions. Bozeman has years of experience playing center from his college days at Alabama and is only a few years removed from doing so.

A few months of taking reps at the center spot should be more than enough for Bozeman to adjust or re-acclimate himself to a new role. He’s a more well-rounded and consistent player than any other incumbent option currently on the roster. With 32 straight games of starting experience under his belt, he also a strong understanding of the Ravens scheme.

Part of playing center is also play recognition and calling out signals. Given his experience playing the position and being a starter in Baltimore, it’s hard to imagine this being an issue at all. By all accounts, he also has a strong relationship and rapport with Lamar Jackson, which is of course important because he’d be snapping the ball to him every play.

Moving Bozeman to center would finally put the need to fix the position to bed. It would allow the Ravens to upgrade the position without having to exhaust resources to do so, too.

Cons —

Bozeman’s current role in the Ravens offense is an important one. His run-blocking and specifically pulling ability are vital to the team’s historic rushing success over the past two seasons. Bozeman is used as a pull blocker more than just about any other offensive lineman in the NFL.

If moved to center, Bozeman then takes more responsibilities onto his plate and as a result could see his role change. Perhaps the Ravens can no longer afford to have him pull and move in space quite as a much. Even a slight reduction in this rate could be bad for the rushing offense.

In addition, sliding Bozeman to center then creates a glaring need at left guard. Can the Ravens find someone who can replicate Bozeman’s skill set at that spot? The in-house options aren’t all desirable, to say the least, so it may require a high-end draft pick or free agent signing to do so.

The left side of the offensive line is already a bit in shambles given the injury status of Ronnie Stanley. Stanley is expected to be ready for training camp but there’s no saying if he’ll be back to All-Pro form in short order. If Stanley’s progression is slow and Orlando Brown Jr. is traded, then Bozeman’s presence on that left side would be greatly needed.

Even then, there’s no saying if the transition would be seamless. Yes, Bozeman has experience playing center. But that was several years ago and he’s never before taken reps under center with Lamar Jackson behind him. It’s possible this could be a bigger adjustment than many expect and the Ravens can’t afford growing pains.


Are you in favor of Bradley Bozeman switching positions to play center?

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