This trade was unexpected as the Ravens need a wide receiver and there has been talk over the last few days about the Ravens trading for one.
Anyways, the Ravens center position was perceived to be settled when the Ravens drafted Ryan Jensen out of Colorado State-Pueblo in the 6th round to be the backup center.
Last years starter, Matt Birk, retired this offseason which moved last year’s 4th round pick, Gino Gradkowski out of Delaware, into the starting spot. Gradkowski was thought to be ready to the starter, and while that may still be true, the Ravens clearly wanted some more competition.
During his 476 snaps season, Shipley accumulated a +6.9 grade according to Pro Football Focus. This comes in limited playing time so take it with a grain of salt but it is still an impressive stat.
Coming into the league out of Penn State, Shipley was drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. he spent all of 2009 on the Steelers practice squad and spent 2010 on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad. After being out of football for 2011, the Colts signed Shipley for 2012 where he earned five starts.
One connection that Shipley has to the Ravens is that the Ravens Run Game Coordinator Juan Castillo was the Eagles offensive line coach in 2010 when Shipley was with them. Castillo probably put a good word in for Shipley due to having worked with him before.
Gradkowski should still be the starting center for the Ravens when training camp starts. Baring some bad play, Gradkowski will be starting when the Ravens open the season up in Denver. Shipley become the backup center then. This would leave Jensen as the odd man out but since he played all over the offensive line in college, he should still make the roster.
The Ravens probably saw that Jensen needed some more work after seeing how he did in rookie minicamps which occurred last weekend. This trade, which should be for about a 7th round pick, will allow Jensen to sit back and develop and will give Gradkowski some competition at center.
Overall this is a good trade for the Ravens as (I assume) they didn’t give up much with their conditional draft pick and Shipley has shown the ability to start in the NFL.