At the State of the Ravens press conference in January, GM Ozzie Newsome made one promise about the teams 2012 roster.
We will have another center, he said.
Even though the team eventually re-signed incumbent starting center Matt Birk, Newsomes pledge led to months of speculation about the Ravens possibly drafting Wisconsin center Peter Konz with their top pick. Birk could mentor Konz and pave the way for a generational handoff at the position, the thinking went.
The Ravens didnt end up drafting Konz, but they did possibly address their future at center and make good on Newsomes pledge Saturday when they selected Delawares Gino Gradkowski with their fourth-round pick the 98th overall selection in the draft.
The 6-2, 300-pound Gradkowski the younger brother of NFL quarterback Bruce Gradkowski -- was an All-American who can also play guard, giving them another big body to throw into the mix in 2012 as they try to replace Ben Grubbs.
But he hopes to play center eventually.
I'm elated right now because Baltimore plays football the way it's supposed to be played," Gradkowski said Saturday.
The Ravens selected him with the pick they obtained from Minnesota Thursday night when they moved down six spots from the 29th overall selection to the 35th overall.
Gradkowski had worked out for the Ravens before the draft and seemed to know he was on their radar.
"Baltimore would be a great situation for me, he said an interview last month. To learn behind Matt Birk, it would be awesome to be able to pick his brain.
He didn't play at Delaware with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who also played for the Blue Hens. But if he ends up snapping the ball to Flacco, it would be a Blue Hen-to-Blue Hen snap.