With the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft April 27, the Ravens must decide whether to pick a center to anchor their offensive line for the next decade or add much-needed talent at receiver or on the edge.
"I'm not sure [Bradbury's] not the best offensive lineman in this draft," Shonka said on
Glenn Clark Radio
April 17. "Very smart, great footwork. People [say] his arms are short, but I tell you, he gets his hands in there on that breastplate, he locks up and it's all over. And he drives his feet on contact."
"He'll be making the calls," added Shonka, "and I think that he would be really a key piece of the puzzle."
The Ravens could also look at Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams in the first round, Shonka said, or they could wait to select a center in the third or fourth round such as Kansas State's Dalton Risner. But because the Ravens don't have a second-round pick, they would better off picking the best player available at the position, according to Shonka.
"There's a couple really versatile guys out there," he said, "... but I think Bradbury is a 10-year guy to me. He's going to be an All-Pro center and he's going to be an anchor for that offensive line for probably five, six years."
If the Ravens instead opt for a receiver with their first pick to give quarterback Lamar Jackson a No. 1 target, Shonka said new general manager Eric DeCosta may decide to trade down.
"You might get the same guy in the second round as you would in the first," Shonka said, noting receivers like South Carolina's Deebo Samuel, Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf or Oklahoma's Marquise Brown as potential selections.
Another position of need is pass rush following the departures of Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith to free agency. Holdovers Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser are expected to get an opportunity to fill in.
With such a late pick in the first round, many of the top pass rushing prospects, including Mississippi State's Montez Sweat, Florida State's Brian Burns and Clemson's Clelin Ferrell will be off the board by pick 22, Shonka said. However, that could change if teams decide to select quarterbacks early in the first round, pushing other position players down in the draft order.
"If people go bananas and start taking too many quarterbacks at the top where we don't have but a couple of quarterbacks in the first round," Shonka said, "... they will push players down to the Ravens."
For more from Shonka, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Gregg Forwerck/NC State Athletics