A look at another potential target for the Ravens in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State
— Height: 6’3
— Weight: 300 lbs
— Age: 24 (25 when season starts)
— Games Watched: Boston College (2018), Texas A&M (2018), Virginia (2018) and Wake Forest (2017)
Bradbury was a three-star tight end recruit to North Carolina State. After being redshirted in 2014, he spent his RS freshman season as a special teams player on the line. He emerged in 2016 as a starter at right guard and transitioned to center in 2018 when he took home the Rimington Trophy, as the country’s best at the position.
Bradbury’s transition to an interior offensive lineman came with some serious attention to detail. He plays with extraordinary technical refinement and quickness. NC State ran exclusively a zone scheme including quite a bit of outside zone. Bradbury excelled in this scheme and showed the ability to reach block 3-tech defensive tackles, which is almost unheard of for a center. He’s tactician to get out in space and engage his man, but he doesn’t show a significant amount of power at the point of attack. He overcomes lack of strength with technique and quickness, and projects best in a zone scheme.
Has tremendous footwork out of his stance and plays with really strong leverage to engage his defender and take on contact. He times his punch well and has a good understanding of his length. Bradbury lacks a strong anchor that can cause him to get pushed back, but his technique is such a strength that it masks that lack of power.
In pass protection, if he gets his hands on his man, he typically wins the rep with that technique and leverage. Bradbury is a great help blocker when he’s uncovered and his quickness allows him to execute double teams after reading the defense post-snap.
Bradbury is far from a mauler and his anchor isn’t his strength, so his power is probably the weakest part of his game. However, his combination of leverage, technique and work ethic have done a good job of masking this. His leverage, in particular, creates a lot of power. Don’t look for him to maul in the run game, but you can expect him to get the job done.
Hands and Footwork
Real strengths of his game are his hand placement, strike timing, and his footwork. Bradbury is a tactician and uses these strengths to his advantage. He’s rarely wide in both hand placement and feet and maintains strong posture through his rep.
The very fact that Bradbury transitioned from a redshirt tight end to the best center in college football is proof that he knows the game of football very well and is extremely coachable. When you consider the fact that his abilities are grounded in outstanding technical abilities, it emphasizes that point. Bradbury also showed good leadership on the NC State line and he functions so well when he’s uncovered that he shows a great ability to read the defense and be a help blocker.
Scheme Fit for the Ravens
This is where we need to think hard about Bradbury’s abilities. Greg Roman has the reputation for having a multi-faceted run blocking scheme. He mixes primarily inside zone with a healthy amount of powers and traps. You will see some outside zone, but not a whole lot.
Bradbury projects as a very good zone center, so in the context of Greg Roman’s scheme you have to be worried about how he will hold up in power concepts. The center needs to get some push to create room for pulling guards and tackles and that could be a weakness for Bradbury.
Garrett Bradbury projects as a very technically refined center prospect with a very high ceiling in a zone blocking scheme. In particular, a scheme that uses outside zone would be ideal for Bradbury to utilize his strengths. While I think he he’s going to be a very good NFL player, I’m not sure if the Ravens are the best for him given his lack of power at the point of attack.
However, Bradbury has shown the ability to make blocks and get better every year.