Oregon State Senior
40: 5.25 (estimated)
Plays with nice pop and does a good job getting position against defender. Shows ability to lock on. Plays with good mean streak and can finish his blocks. Shows quick hands and gets into his set in pass protection quickly. Does a nice job redirecting defender. Effective on the second level and does a nice job hitting his assignments to spring the runner. Can pull.
Undersized and gets push back off the snap. Gives up too much ground and gets bull-rushed into the pocket. Struggles when matching up against nose tackle on an island. Doesn't get a lot of push at the point of attack and doesn't always lock on as a run blocker.
Linnenkhol played with a bum ankle for most of the season, and I think it hurt him when he was asked to try and get base and push on an island. A three-year starter that logged 38 starts at center. Oregon State has produced a number of nice NFL linemen in recent years under Mike Riley, and Linnenkohl should continue that trend.
Linnenkohl has the potential to be a solid starter at the next level because of his quick hands and his consistency and toughness. He'll need to play in a zone blocking scheme because he doesn't have the size, strength, or ability to get push to be a good man blocker. He probably has enough skill to start competing for a starting role in his second or third year, and should be ready to be a regular starter by the time his rookie contract expires. I don't think he'll be a top notch starter, but in a zone blocking scheme that has a quick running back that emphasizes his ability to get to the second level, he could be an above average starter. He worked well at Oregon State because of the quickness of Jacquizz Rodgers and has the sort of skillset that Alex Gibbs typically looks for in his center prospects.
In the Falcons blocking scheme, Linnenkohl probably projects better as a reserve due to the Falcons mixing a lot of man blocking in with zone blocking. He probably would be a nice backup to Hawley and an insurance policy in case he doesn't take off as a starter in the next year or two. He could be an effective starter in Atlanta because he has a similar skillset as McClure, but he doesn't have the sort of upside or versatility that makes him a good fit.
He is a nice starting center prospect which means he's probably a middle round pick. A good fit for a zone blocking team in the late third or fourth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Pass Blocking: 3.0
Run Blocking: 3.0
Mean Streak: 4.0
Scouting reports of the centers, guards, and tackles in the 2011 Draft.
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