Last week, Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta told media members in his first address since the Senior Bowl that the team has a, “plan in place,” on how to address the center position heading into 2021. According to reports, that plan no longer includes Matt Skura.
The fourth-year pro has been the Ravens’ starting center for the majority of the last three seasons (39-of-42 games when active) including all 16 in 2018 after winning the starting job in training camp. He made the team as an undrafted free agent out of Duke in 2017 and went on to start 12 games at right guard as a rookie.
Skura was on pace for a Pro Bowl season in 2019 and emerging as one of the best centers in the game in the mind of head coach John Harbaugh before he suffered a season-ending knee injury after 11 games. He missed the remainder of the year but fought back and defied the odds to keep his starting spot to start the 2020 season.
As impressive and inspiring as Skura’s tenacious comeback from major knee surgery was, his tenure as a Raven came to an unceremonious end after issues with errant snaps landed him on the bench after the first 12 games of the year.
He was replaced by Patrick Mekari again, but this time it wasn’t due to injury. Mekari went on to have some snap infractions of his own, most infamously in the team’s most recent playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills.
The Ravens will be looking to upgrade at the pivotal position this offseason. That could mean moving Bradley Bozeman over from left guard, giving some other internal options a shot in training camp, signing a veteran free agent, or taking one early in the draft.
Nevertheless, Skura falls into the former undrafted gem category because he not only played plenty of meaningful snaps in Baltimore, he played at an above-average-to-high level for most of his time in purple and black. His contributions to the Ravens the past four seasons should be both appreciated and celebrated.
His positional versatility helped the Ravens’ offensive line be very flexible during his time with the team and should be an asset for a team like the Dolphins who just lost their starting center—Ted Karras—to a division rival and have a young franchise quarterback to protect in Tua Tagovailoa. In Miami, Skura will have an opportunity to rebuild his on-field reputation and raise his market value for the 2022 offseason.