Tracking the Draft Prospects: Center

mascho

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Time to look forward.
 
Solicited suggestions in the Draft Thread about having dedicated threads to a few positions that the Patriots might need to address in the draft.  So far we have TE/OL/DL.  Open to more.  
 
Here is a list of the Cs in the draft.  Thin group.
 
There's one guy I like.  Bryan Stork from FSU.  39 career starts.  Seems quick with good strength.  Solid off the ball and at the point of attack.  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiPCBvq7SpY
 
EDIT:  I love the job he does at about 1:39 or so, on the stretch run to his right.  Fires out, gets position on the DT and then turns him with sheer strength.  The more I see of him, the more I like about him.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Stork is currently ranked the #4 C on ESPN.com and #4 on a site I like to reference because they mock all 7 rounds, www.drafttek.com. They also rate him #129 overall, so roughly a late 4th/early 5th round prospect. I haven't seen enough of him to have an opinion on him yet. 
 
The top ranked C is currently Travis Swanson from Arkansas. He's ranked #131 overall by ESPN and #51 by drafttek. He's a team captain, leader, durable, tough interior lineman. Struggles with technique, but we can send him to Dante U to work on that. Would likely be a round 2 or 3 consideration. 
 
There really isn't a franchise type available in the draft, but there are a few names to consider from rounds 2-5 if they feel they need to address the position. 
 

mascho

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Swanson is a great player and leader.  Started all 50 games at Arkansas and a two-time captain.  But I've seen one mock that has him going in the first round to the Broncos.  I don't think Swanson gets to the Patriots unless they take him in the first or second.  Unless they love Swanson I think they go somewhere else with those first two picks.  
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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mascho said:
Swanson is a great player and leader.  Started all 50 games at Arkansas and a two-time captain.  But I've seen one mock that has him going in the first round to the Broncos.  I don't think Swanson gets to the Patriots unless they take him in the first or second.  Unless they love Swanson I think they go somewhere else with those first two picks.  
 
I don't think I'd use a 1st on him, so if that's the case, I'd pass. But if he was there in round 2, I'd be fine with the pick. It wouldn't be sexy, but it would help shore up the interior line. At this point, I'd probably prefer to go with an OG like David Yankey, X. Su'a-Filo, or Zach Martin, who can also provide depth at OT in case of emergency. 
 

lambeau

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The consensus seems to be that Weston Richburg of Colorado State was the most impressive center Senior Bowl week, practicing impressively against DaQuan
Jones, Rasheed Hageman-- and the only one able to control Aaron Donald. He is quick, solid, and technically proficient, allowing him to block DT's 50 lbs
heavier.Swanson may still go first, and Richburg may be available at the end of the second or third round. He has also played guard and tackle.
This is a position of need, as Wendell was beaten repeatedly--and ranked 33rd by PFF among all centers.
 

SMU_Sox

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I like Tyler Larson a lot the more I see of his game tape. He's very strong and can play guard in a pinch -exactly the type of versatility BB loves. We could probably get him in the 4th to 7th rounds. I'd jump on him as early as the 4th too.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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lambeau said:
The consensus seems to be that Weston Richburg of Colorado State was the most impressive center Senior Bowl week, practicing impressively against DaQuan
Jones, Rasheed Hageman-- and the only one able to control Aaron Donald. He is quick, solid, and technically proficient, allowing him to block DT's 50 lbs
heavier.Swanson may still go first, and Richburg may be available at the end of the second or third round. He has also played guard and tackle.
This is a position of need, as Wendell was beaten repeatedly--and ranked 33rd by PFF among all centers.
 
From Gil Brandt's Pro Day blog:
 
 
Representatives from 27 NFL teams — including Cincinnati Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes — were on hand for Colorado State’s pro day on Wednesday. A total of nine Colorado State players — plus five others from area small colleges such as Adams State, Colorado Mesa, Fort Lewis and Northern Colorado — worked out indoors on FieldTurf.
Colorado State had three players at the NFL Scouting Combine, with the most promising prospect being center Weston Richburg. Richburg (6-foot-3 3/4, 304 pounds) stood on his numbers from the combine. He was worked out in offensive line drills by Hayes, who is one of the best there is at working these type of players out. Richburg responded with a really good workout.
If a team is looking for the next Alex Mack, Richburg is that guy. He’ll be your starting center for the next 10 years.
 
This kid sound pretty intriguing as a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
 

Super Nomario

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John Urschel from Penn State is an intriguing option:
"Highly intelligent," "Well-versed in pro-style offense," (with a Belichick connection in Bill O'Brien), "might prove to be best at center."
 
He's not a great athlete or a size / strength monster, but more of a heady, scrappy guy. He played G in college so he'd have some versatility. Seems like a good late-round option who'd be plug-and-play for the Pats and would at least be a good depth player.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqRmvD4gujg
 

Super Nomario

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Nevada's Joel Bitonio an option at C?
 
Josh Norris ‏@JoshNorris  9m
@BenNatan2 I like Bitonio. Another who played at a high level. Wouldn't be surprised if a team takes him as a C. Passed 20SS metric too.
 
Interview: http://withthefirstpick.com/2014/03/31/nfl-draft-prospect-interview-joel-bitonio-ot-nevada/
 
 
PS: I’ve heard you’ve gotten looked at for all 5 spots on the offensive line.
 
JB: Yea, so at the Senior Bowl, I practiced at left guard, right guard, left tackle, right tackle, and I took a few snaps at center.  And then at the combine, you don’t really do position specific stuff, it’s just OLine, you know.  And then for my Pro Day, some of the coaches wanted to see me snap, so I was like yea, I’ll give it a try.  I haven’t really snapped in a while.  So I played center and then they had me working at guard and they had me kick at tackle, so yea, all five positions, I’ve been going at.
 

Super Nomario

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Lance Zierlein is talking up Ohio State's Corey Linsley. At 6'3" 296 he's not huge, but he's country strong, benching more than 500 pounds (and doing 36 reps at the Combine). Might be a good 6th-7th-round option.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY2p-t4Rj0Q
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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mascho said:
 
Time to look forward.
 
Solicited suggestions in the Draft Thread about having dedicated threads to a few positions that the Patriots might need to address in the draft.  So far we have TE/OL/DL.  Open to more.  
 
Here is a list of the Cs in the draft.  Thin group.
 
There's one guy I like.  Bryan Stork from FSU.  39 career starts.  Seems quick with good strength.  Solid off the ball and at the point of attack.  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiPCBvq7SpY
 
EDIT:  I love the job he does at about 1:39 or so, on the stretch run to his right.  Fires out, gets position on the DT and then turns him with sheer strength.  The more I see of him, the more I like about him.
 
 
Nice call Mascho. You had this pegged months ago.