Centers

First Round


none.

Second Round


Jake Grove

(6'4" 300 5.19) Virginia Tech Senior

Pros: Does a good job at getting downfield and making blocks on the second level. Makes good calls at the line and rarely is confused by defenses. Has good feet and can slide and protect quarterback. Is a good drive blocker and gets good pop off the line of scrimmage.
Cons: Not very effective on an island in pass protection and will struggle when blocking one-on-one with defensvie tackles in the NFL. Is not an overwhelming blocker.
NFL Forecast: Some people want to make immediate links between Grove and Jeff Faine. They are similar players, but Grove is not as physical or strong as Faine was. Unlike Faine, Grove probably won't be able to play guard on the next level. Grove's weight room strength doesn't translate all that much on the field. He has the potential to develop more and be an effective island blocker, but he's not there yet. I like Grove though. He's a smart player that makes very little mistakes. He's definitely a Pro Bowl caliber center and has that farmboy mentality that you love in offensive linemen.
Value: Has good potential and already solid enough to go late in the second round.

Third Round


Alex Stepanovich

(6'4" 304 5.21) Ohio State Senior

Pros: Is both a capable run blocker and pass protector. Gets good pop and uses hands well. Has good feet, and does a good job making adjustments in pass protection. Can play both guard or center and can play in the shotgun.
Cons: Not a dominant run blocker that doesnít overwhelm.
NFL Forecast: He can play both guard or center, although he could be potentially an All-Pro center, while heíll only be an average starting guard. That range helps him a lot, but he projects much better at the center spot than at guard. He has the strength and fiestiness you like in an interior mauler, but it'll be much harder for him to match up at that position in the NFL. He has the mentality of a mauler, but doesn't really have the strength and power you want in that type of player. As a center, he should eventually develop into one of the league's best.
Value: Has good upside and his ability to play two positions on the next level is good.

Fourth Round


none.

Fifth Round


Nick Leckey

(6'3" 290 5.05) Kansas State Senior

Pros: Does a good job blocking on the second level. Gets good pop in the run game and has good feet for pass protection. Has good technique and hand use. Is effective in shotgun formation.
Cons: Lacking in strength and doesnít have strength or power to drive guys off the ball. Will struggle against the big powerful defensive tackles.
NFL Forecast: Can play both guard and center, but long-term future projects best at center. He could play guard in an offensive scheme that likes itís guards to block more in space off traps and pulls more than straight-up in-line blocking. He should develop into a solid center, because heís very good all-around. He should eventually develop into a good NFL starting center.
Value: Quickness and versatility to play two positions makes him a fifth round prospect.

A.J. Ricker

(6'3" 301 5.40) Missouri Senior

Pros: Feisty interior player that will scrap with defenders. Has good strength and ability as a run blocker. Can get to the second level and make blocks downfield. Shows nice feet in pass protection. Is capable in the shotgun formation.
Cons: Will lunge at defenders and overextend.
NFL Forecast: He should make a good center. He's scrappy, smart, and a little dirty reminiscent of the Bronco linemen of the past decade. He's a good all-around center, although he is not eye-popping either in pass protection or the run game. A steady player that can solidify the middle, but probably won't ever be an All-Pro center.
Value: Steady player in the middle means he's a late fifth/early sixth round pick.

Sixth Round


Nick Hardwick

(6'4" 293 5.10) Purdue Senior

Pros: Has good feet and does well in pass protection. Uses arms and hands well to shield defenders away and can lock onto opponents. Is a good run blocker that can drive block. Comfortable working out of the shotgun.
Cons: Doesn't block with great base, and is a waist bender. Will overextend and lunge at defenders. Doesn't have great strength and lacks pop as a run blocker.
NFL Forecast: Looks like a solid center prospect since he does everything fairly well. He still could use some improvement across the board, but as a center he won't be relied upon too much to be a devastating run blocker or top pass protector. I project him to be a capable starter on the next level, although he probably won't be a top center.
Value: Has starter potential, but not huge upside which makes him a solid sixth round pick.

Scott Wells

(6'2" 300 5.29) Tennessee Senior

Pros: Has nice feet and good mobility to block on the second level. Has good hands and will lock onto defenders. Shows good ability to work from the shotgun. Heís a decent run blocker that gets good pop.
Cons: Lacks strength and struggles blocking one-on-one since he can be bull-rushed. Canít be left on an island and doesnít do a good job adjusting to the pass rush. Could do a better job recognizing blitzes at the line.
NFL Forecast: Looks like a solid center. Heís not a complete guy yet, but he should make a quality starter on the next level. Can be somewhat a liability in pass protection if heís left on an island, but heís decent. Is not a dominating run blocker, but is better there than in pass protection, because he gets good pop despite lacking power and strength. A quality center with the upside to be a capable starter.
Value: Needs more work, but his upside keeps him as a sixth round pick.

Seventh Round


Dave Pearson

(6'3" 297 5.13) Michigan Senior

Pros: Gets good push up front and has pretty good feet. Can get to the second level. Does a good job locking onto defenders and a good drive blocker. A decent pass protector.
Cons: Gets poor base and leverage and can be bull-rushed. Has difficulty recognizing blitzes and making the right line calls.
NFL Forecast: Unlike most centers, he can be left on an island in pass protection, but he's not going to win the majority of the battles, but he'll win quite a few. Pearson is a decent blocker, but needs to work better at his center duties which involve commanding the four guys around him. He should get some looks on the next level, but he won't be more than a backup in the NFL.
NFL Comparison: Dave Brandt.
Value: Seventh round. He can potentially play two positions, but is too limited as of now.

Norm Katnik

(6'4" 296 5.09) Southern California Senior

Pros: Smart center that has nice quickness. Will finish his blocks and is capable in the run game as a drive blocker. Is comfortable in space and can block on pulls and traps.
Cons: Doesn't have great strength and undersized. In pass protection can't be left on an island. Lacks pop in the run game.
NFL Forecast: Does a good job with not a lot of physical ability. Should make a quality NFL center, but won't be anything special. I'm not sure he'll ever be a starter. But at the least, he should provide good depth for some team. If he does become a starter, he'll do well enough to maintain the position, although he's not a foundation piece in the middle.
Value: Seventh Round. Is an overachiever which usually translates to some form of NFL success for centers.

Rex Hadnot

(6'2" 323 5.52) Houston Senior

Pros: Has good size and strength and blocks more like a guard than center. Has good mobility and good on traps and pulls. Has good strength and pop in the run game. Uses hands well and can lock onto a defender. Comfortable working out of the shotgun.
Cons: Doesn't have great feet and can struggle against quick interior pass rushers when left on an island. Doesn't show ability to drive defenders off the ball, relying more on initial hit than sustaining the block.
NFL Forecast: A good center prospect that may be able to get some work as a guard in the NFL. Shows good toughness at the center position. He's in the mold of the big, powerful centers that are rare on the NFL scene. Can also play guard but his weaknesses will be less apparent at that position. Has good range and can develop eventually into a capable starter, but won't be special. Most likely future is as a utility interior guy that fills in at both guard and center.
NFL Comparison: Damien Woody, Lions.
Value: Although he's capable, he's a bit too limited to go higher than round seven.

Undrafted


Dan Weaver

(6'4" 298 5.45) Oregon Senior

Pros: Has nice feet and looks comfortable in space and pass protection. Has nice mobility and can get upfield and make blocks on the second level. Has experience in the shotgun.
Cons: Lacks great strength and gets poor base in pass protection allowing him to be bull-rushed easily. Doesn't have great pop in the run game.
NFL Forecast: Weaver is more a finesse guy that doesn't have starter potential, but looks like he may be able to stick in the NFL as a reserve. He needs to add strength so he can be more effective as a run blocker which would improve his chances in the NFL. Is not going to be able to work in a "smashmouth"-type offense.
Value: Has skills to get a look on the next level, but unless he lands in the right place, he's not going to stick long in the NFL.

Justin Colburn

(6'3" 295 5.31) New Mexico Senior

Pros: Is a good drive blocker that doesn't quit. Has good enough feet to play on the inside and has experience playing multiple positions.
Cons: Overmatched on outside since his feet could only be considered good for an interior player. Lacks strength and pop and doesn't lock onto defenders. Doesnít show good pop in the run game.
NFL Forecast: Colburn played blindside tackle, but he may have to move back to center if he wants to stick in the NFL. May have a future as an interior player, but still only a marginal prospect. If he was a better run blocker, I would say that he has a pretty good chance at sticking as a backup. He still could develop into that role on the next level, but he is less likely since his abilities in the run game don't stand out.
Value: Undrafted. Worth a camp invite, but that's about it.

 

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