By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
This will be part 6 of a series of 13 as we take a look at the center position in the 2021 NFL draft. The center position is arguably the weakest among the linemen positions, but there is talent early in this draft. Let’s take a look at my Top 10 Centers in the upcoming 2021 NFL draft.
- Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma)-6’5/320: Aside from the obvious physical skills of Humphrey, he displays leadership qualities that NFL teams covert. Humphrey has excellent technique and has above average strength to succeed in the NFL. Humphrey should be the 1st center off the board as its projected he’ll be selected somewhere in the middle or backend of the 1st round.
- Josh Myers (Ohio State)-6’5/312: Myers is another center on this list with excellent technique and the strength to match. Myers is strong at the point of attack and usually wins his one on one battle’s in the trenches. Myers could hear his name at the backend of the 1st or early in round 2.
- Trey Hill (Georgia)-6’4/330: Hill lands at #3 on my list as he is the leader on the Georgia Bulldogs offensive line and for good reason. Hill plays in the best conference (SEC) and usually against the best talent in the country and has not only held his own, but he has at times been dominant. Hill is projected to be a Day 2 selection in the 2021 NFL draft.
- Landon Dickerson (Alabama)-6’6/325: Dickerson is another center playing in the best conference and displays a mauler’s mentality. Although he is comfortable engaging on his secondary blocks, Dickerson is not suited in open space as a lead blocker on sweeps and/or scenes. Dickerson should be a Day 3 pick in the upcoming draft.
- Tyler Linderbaum (Iowa)-6’3/296: Linderbaum is a converted Defensive Tackle two years ago and has now emerged in my top 5 as one of the best centers entering the 2021 NFL draft. Linderbaum is projected to go late on Day 2 or early on Day 3 in the draft.
- Drake Jackson (Kentucky)-6’2/295: Jackson moves well laterally and does a great job on stunts and picking up blitzes. Jackson utilizes his hands well at the point of attack and has nice footwork. Jackson should hear his name somewhere in the middle of the Day 3 selections.
- Alec Lindstrom (Boston College)-6’4/290: Lindstrom has enough strength to finish his blocks, but would benefit to add more weight to his frame for the vigorous demands in the trenches in the NFL. Expect Lindstrom to go somewhere in the final 3 rounds in the NFL draft.
- Jimmy Morrissey (Pittsburgh)-6’3/305: Morrissey displays a mean streak at times and has been compared to Maurkice Pouncey. Morrissey could move up in this draft with a solid performance at the NFL combine, but for now many view him going somewhere on Day 3.
- James Empey (BYU)-6’4/303: Empey plays with a high motor and always stays on his blocks until the whistle. Empey could benefit by adding more weight to his frame to be better suited at the next level. Empey is projected to go later on Day 3 in the draft.
- Jarrett Patterson (Notre Dame)-6’5/305: Patterson has sound technique and keeps a low center of gravity in the trenches. Patterson will need time to develop, so expect him to be a late Day 3 selection.
It’s unclear if the Giants GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge would consider drafting a center after the season Nick Gates had in 2020. One of the quality features among the center position in this year’s class is that many are versatile and can play multiple positions along the offensive line. This added value could allow the Giants to consider a center on Day 3 if they feel the value is more evident over the guard and/or tackle positions.