With the Baltimore Ravens looking for depth at center they have made a trade Thursday for A.Q. Shipley from the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for a conditional 2014 draft pick, according to ESPN. The move is a little surprising considering the fact that there has been a good deal of respect for the work center Gino Gradkowski has done for the team over the last two seasons as a back-up when before Matt Birk retired after the Super Bowl.
This deal may not be a direct note on how well Gradkowski is doing, but an insurance policy due to the lack of tarting experience at the position. Here is what assistant general manager Eric Decosta had to say recently to baltimoreravens.com. “I think people probably look at Gino and think, ‘Oh, he’s kind of a small guy…He’s a small-school guy and he’s probably not the biggest guy physically, but I think he’s a gritty, smart tough guy, very quick-footed. He fits our zone blocking scheme very well.”
Coming out of the draft last year, Gradkowski has been noted to have an edge to him similar to what Marshall Yanda has at right guard for the Ravens. Sounds like good news to me.
Shipley played in 14 games for the Colts in 2012 and his work was noted by the Ravens for sure. Pro Football Focus rated Shipley a 6.9 which is a reasonably high grade by their standards. Shipley was drafted in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers who was noted in the NFL combine for having 33 reps of 225 lbs. He is a strong guy and will be a situation to keep on notice.