Patrick Mekari has all of the confidence of his teammates and coaches.
He'll be under close scrutiny when he makes his first start at center for the injured Matt Skura against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 13.
Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman does not expect any drop-off against the 49ers and their stout defensive line.
"The thing about Pat is, from the day he got here, he belonged," Roman said. "There’s a certain maturity to him, a certain professionalism to him, that you really want out of a center. I was impressed with him from Day One. After talking to him for a couple of days and whatnot, I was kind of like, ‘This guy is going to be alright.’
'And then it’s just a matter of physically getting ready to play and learning the techniques and learning the offense. But he’s done a really good job in practice this week."
Mekari signed with the Ravens this offseason as an undrafted rookie from California. His versatility to play multiple position on the offensive line was an added bonus.
He received his first extensive action when Skura went down with a season-ending knee injury Week 12 against the Los Angeles Rams. He played well enough to earn the start this week.
“I was ready,” Mekari said. “I knew with the interior three, whatever happened, I’m the next guy up. And the time presented itself and I just wanted to go in there and make it happen and come out with the win and just help my team.”
Roman is not worried about Mekari's timing with Lamar Jackson and snapping the ball. Ball security will be vital against the 49ers, especially with rain in the forecast.
"[Jackson] is just such a great leader and is so inclusive with everybody," Roman said. "He has a great relationship with everybody, so they’ve been working hard at it, as far as the center-quarterback exchange and communicating.”