Top Five 2015 NFL Draft Prospects- Center
These guys will be drafted in order to anchor the center of the offensive line. Today I rank the top five center prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft.
1. Reese Dismukes, Auburn
Bio: Reese Dismukes was a four year starter for the Tiger's offense. Because of his lack of physical capabilities, he had to beat defenders with technique and effort.
Strengths: Shows good quickness and good awareness in pass protection. Displays a good punch on quick sets and pass sets with depth when sorting out blitzes and twists. Works up to the second level and will seal and latch on linebackers. Stays low when uncovered and works well with the guards.
Weaknesses: Has difficulty with a zero nose or shade techniques. Loses leverage when blocking heads up. Occasionally drops feet and tries to position block which causes him to lose the defender over the top. Hands open up and get wide try to match up. Has short arms and won't get much movement of force as run blocker.
Projected Round: 2
2. Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
Bio: After not being heavily recruited out of high school, Hroniss Grasu joined Oregon in 2010. He went on to be a three time All-PAC 12 center and started 55 straight games.
Strengths: Fearless against opposing defenders. Willing to battle against bigger and stronger nose tackles. Has big hands and is tough at the point of attack with good functional strength. Has a deep love for the game and is a willing worker. Reestablishes hands into proper placement in pass protection if defender gets hands into his body. Can pull and hit targets in space. Adjusts to mirror and engage linebackers on the next level.
Weaknesses: Doesn't effectively use his length. Uses inconsistent hand placement in run blocking. Tends to lose balance when engaging larger defensive linemen on the move. Marginal acceleration around the corner when asked to pull. Not a leverage winner in short yardage situations. Must put on weight at the next level.
Projected Round: 2-3
3. Andy Gallik, Boston College
Bio: A four year starter for Boston College, Andy Gallik was the anchor of the Eagles offensive line. He was a two time All-ACC center and joined a long line of successful BC linemen.
Strengths: A fighter and grinders in the center of the line. Plays flat footed on impact and can anchor. Secures his down blocks with purpose. Sinks hips and times his punch in pass protection. Keeps his head out of the pass protection and uses good posture. Has the play demeanor that coaches love. Does a good job of getting his feet in position to wall off defenders. Very good functional strength and sustain power blocks.
Weaknesses: Stance is high out of the snap. Linebackers have ability to slip his blocks when he climbs to the second level. Limited athletic ability and loses a great deal of his effectiveness outside of his snap area. Spends too much time securing first space when pulling.
Projected Round: 3
4. B.J. Finney, Kansas State
Bio: B.J. Finney went from being a walk on, to a four year starter and three time captain at Kansas State. He went on to start 51 straight games and be named to two All-Big 12 teams.
Strengths: The high school wrestler shows clear understanding of leverage at the point of attack. Has a sturdy NFL ready build. Is able to use defender's momentum against them. Very sticky hands and strong core. Uses good hand placement combined with core strength and balance to win his snaps. Makes strong commitment to power stepping and shutting down gap shooters. Allowed just 2.5 sacks over four years. Mirrors with a well timed press in pass protection.
Weaknesses: Arms are shorter than average. Will give up ground and create a shallow pocket when taller defenders get into him. Can get too straight legged as a blocker and it could limit his effectiveness against the delayed blitz. Only average quickness and can struggle when asked to block defenders on the move.
Projected Round: 4-5
5. Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech
Bio: Shaw Mason was a forceful guard in Georgia Tech's triple option offense. He was a hard worker in offense that requires a lot of practice in skill.
Strengths: One of the more powerful drive blockers in the draft. Comes off ball with low pad level and wide base and routinely wins leverage game. Snaps hips under him at contact while standing defensive tackles up. Runs feet through contact and strength is his calling card. Moves well in space and climbs to second level under control. Able to sustain blocks for several yards downfield. Good knee bend in pass sets with ability to mirror. Keeps weight balanced throughout pass set. Great hand fighter in pass protection and able to reset hands when they are knocked away.
Weaknesses: Short height with short arms will likely force him to play center. Lets his hands get a little wide in pass sets making his lack of length more troublesome. Takes inconsistent angles to targets on zone runs. Forward leaner susceptible to balance issues at contact. Inconsistent with cut blocks. Rarely asked to sustain pass protection very long. Faced very few skilled interior pass rushers in ACC.
Projected Round: 5