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Green Bay Packers can afford to wait on center in NFL draft

Apr. 21, 2012
 
Michigan's David Molk is among realistic prospects at center for the Packers, who lost Scott Wells in free agency this offseason, only to sign longtime Indianapolis Colts veteran Jeff Saturday as an immediate replacement.
Michigan's David Molk is among realistic prospects at center for the Packers, who lost Scott Wells in free agency this offseason, only to sign longtime Indianapolis Colts veteran Jeff Saturday as an immediate replacement.

Offensive linemen

• Overall: Left tackle is a premium position in the NFL, but there might be only two selected in this year’s first round, USC’s Matt Kalil and Iowa’s Riley Reiff.
• Top prospect: USC’s Matt Kalil has an NFL pedigree and could go in the first five picks.
• Packers outlook: It’s almost a given the Packers will draft a center who in a year or two might succeed Jeff Saturday as the starter, and with Chad Clifton at the end of the line and Derek Sherrod coming back from a broken leg, they might look for a left tackle to help push Marshall Newhouse for the starting job.
• Rising star: Midwestern State’s Amini Silotolu physically dominated the Division II level and has crept up draft boards to a possible second-round pick.
• Falling star: Stanford’s Jonathan Martin went into the offseason looking like a first-round pick for his play on an offensive line that gave up only 18 sacks the last two years combined, but there’s a good chance he’s dropped out of the first round after scouts scrutinized the film this spring and credited Luck as the major reason for the low sack total.
• Sleeper: East Carolina’s Steven Baker (6-7½, 301) is a late-round prospect after playing as a starter for only one season in college, at right tackle, but showed athleticism by breaking the 5.0-second mark in the 40 (4.91) and vertical jumping 32 inches.

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The Green Bay Packers signed 36-year-old free agent Jeff Saturday to be their center this year and maybe next.

But it’s a given they’re also going to draft a center this year as his possible successor.

Some prominent mock drafters had the Packers selecting the University of Wisconsin’s Peter Konz with pick No. 28 in the first round before the team signed Saturday, but even if they hadn’t signed the longtime Indianapolis Colts center, drafting Konz with a valuable first-round pick probably was a stretch because of the value of the position, and it’s almost inconceivable now.

Centers are of low priority in the draft for good reason. More than maybe all other positions, success at center depends more on intangibles and less on physical makeup. There’s a chance the Packers could pick a center in the second or third round, but considering their huge needs on defense and the history of low- or nondrafted centers becoming starters in the NFL, the odds probably are better it will be from the fourth round down.

Just look at recent Packers history. Of their primary starting centers going back 20 years, they had James Campen and Frank Winters, both undrafted players signed into the NFL by other teams; Mike Flanagan, a third-round pick; Grey Ruegamer, a former third-round pick by Miami signed as a low-priority free agent; and Scott Wells, a seventh-round pick who left the Packers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

In the last 10 years of the draft, only four centers have been first-round picks.

“The thing about centers, that’s one position where you can compromise athletically as long as he’s smart and has some toughness, you can get through,” a scout said this week. “You can be careful at center, you don’t always have go for that guy that’s 6-4 and 315 pounds. It’s nice to have him because he’s bigger and stouter, but you can go with someone who’s stretching to be 6-1 and 298 pounds and is smart and tough and can make the line checks. Those guys can play for a long time. Do you waste a high-round pick at that position when you can get a guy later on who will be just as productive?”

If the Packers wait until the fourth round or later to draft a center, Konz and Georgia’s Ben Jones figure to be off the board, and Baylor’s Phillip Blake more likely than not will be gone, too. After that, it is more about identifying intangibles and finding a player that fits a team’s system. The Packers are a zone-blocking team, so in theory they prefer quicker offensive linemen and will sacrifice size for athletic ability.

However, the Packers tried to replace the smallish (6-2 and 300-pound) Wells for much of his career because of concerns about his size before they finally gave in because he played so well and consistently. Also, coach Mike McCarthy’s run game has incorporated more power-oriented plays the past couple years, and he’s talked in generalities about wanting to tweak his run game, which suggests at least the possibility he’d prefer a bigger center for those winter-weather games in December and January.

The physical makeup of the center the Packers select in this draft will help answer that, though Wells showed that smaller centers can function well in McCarthy’s offense — Wells graded out as the team’s most consistent lineman last year.

“(The center) is the most covered-up guy in football,” another scout said. “If you have two good guards you can get away with a half-decent center. The problem is, the 3-4 defenses coming back with Green Bay and San Francisco and Houston, I think there’s 12 or 13 teams now, you better have a strong center because they’re going to be battling those big nose guards. Still, it goes back to, if you can get a good center that can call the alerts and checks and the protections and have two good guards, no matter what you play against, he can still be protected.”

One or two other centers also could be gone by the third round, but they might still be available in the fourth as well. Among them are Michigan’s David Molk and Ohio State’s Michael Brewster, both of whom most likely will be selected from later in the third round through the fourth round.

Molk (6-0 7/8) is even shorter than Wells, and at 298 pounds is about the same weight, though he’s a little more athletic.

“You’d have to be OK with his size, because he’s not long,” a scout said. “You just worry about a guy like that getting grabbed and pushed around because of his size. But he’s handled himself well at Michigan, played at the highest level at Michigan and done OK. He’s a little bit like Wells, a lot like Scott, has the edge about him.”

Brewster (6-4 1/8, 312) has great size but isn’t the athlete zone-blocking teams prefer to quickly get to the linebacker.

“If you’re a zone-blocking team and he has to reach over this (defensive) tackle, then I don’t think he’s a very good fit,” another scout said. “But if you’re just base blocking and combination blocking, then you can live with a guy like that. He’s one of those guys, he has to be what you’re looking for. Are you looking for an athletic center, or are you’re looking for a guy that’s tough?”

Late in the draft, there are prospects such as Western Oregon’s Jason Slowey (6-2½, 303), who played left tackle at the Division II level but projects to center in the NFL; Arizona State’s Garth Gerhart (6-1¾, 305), the brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Toby Gerhart and a slightly undersized player who snaps left-handed; and Delaware’s Gino Gradkowski (6-2¾, 300), a transfer from West Virginia and the brother of Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.

Top offensive line prospects

Tackles

• Matt Kalil, USC, 6-6 5/8, 308, Round 1

Brother of Ryan Kalil, the Carolina Panthers’ starting center, enters the draft as a redshirt junior. Started at left tackle his final two years at USC, which since 2006 has produced four tackles drafted in the first two rounds. “You like the measurables,” a scout said. “He’s going to get stronger. Good feet, you like the lower body — I don’t think like basketball-good feet, but he understood his footwork, how to slide in, slide out, nice technique and good reach. At first I wondered what all the hype was because he was such a tall, narrow guy. But the more you watched him play, you could see the guy is very technique sound, composed, good length, good arm reach. He grew on you.” Ran the 40 in 4.99 seconds, which was fastest among offensive linemen at the combine, had a 27½-inch vertical and did 30 bench reps. Arms are plenty long (34 5/8 inches) for left tackle. “I wasn’t a big fan of the (Gabe Carimi) guy from Wisconsin that went to the Bears (at No. 29 last year), and he’s got a little bit of that in him,” another scout said. “(Kalil) is not a true (BS guy), and he’s got some ability, he’s going to play 10 years in the league, don’t get me wrong. But he’s going to be humbled. Coming out and saying, ‘I’m the best guy in the draft’ and all that, (defensive) guys read that, and they’re going to humble him. He’s long, he doesn’t have the grit his brother has. His brother is morning, noon and night football; this guy’s a little bit of a surfer.He has some talent. For a guy his length, he doesn’t have a lot of girth. He has some technique flaws he can get fixed, but he’s not ready-made Tony Boselli.”

• Riley Reiff, Iowa, 6-5¾, 313, Round 1

Redshirted as a freshman, split time at both tackles and guard in ’09, then replaced the Packers’ Bryan Bulaga at left tackle in ’10. “I think he’s a lot like Bulaga,” a scout said. “He might be more successful as a right (tackle), but I’d stick him at left to see if he can’t. He has more athletic ability than (former Iowa tackle Robert) Gallery, Gallery was a little long and light, and they had to move him in inside. This guy’s only knock is his arm length (33¼ inches), and he only did 23 (bench reps) at the combine. He was (upset) when I talked to him about it, he was kind of embarrassed. There’s something about the guy — you know one thing about Iowa (linemen), they get coached and they’re going to be ahead of the curve when they come in. I think he’s going to play, and if you get him you’re going to be happy with him. The other guy (i.e., Kalil) might have bigger upside because of his size if you can get him to do it, but this guy here is going to do everything he can to get it right.” Ran the 40 in 5.20 seconds, had a 26½-inch vertical. “Right off the hoof you might have thought he’s a little bit stiff and tight,” another scout said. “He lined up at left tackle when I saw him but I could see him as a good, steady right tackle who could play for a good long time. Good technician, good bend, really just a good solid pro, I think he’ll be. I thought Bulaga was stronger and thought Bulaga could play right tackle or guard. I don’t know if Riley can play guard.”

• Jonathan Martin, Stanford, 6-5 3/8, 312, Round 2

Redshirt junior entry started all three seasons at left tackle. “Because of the quarterback (i.e., reported No. 1 pick Andrew Luck), those (Stanford offensive players) are all getting play,” a scout said. “Certainly because of his body type and what he looks like, tackles are hard to come by, so he’s going to probably get drafted higher than he should. They’re rare, like corners, hard to get. I think he’ll be a left tackle, and if he can’t do it, you move him over and be a right. I think he’s pretty good. He’s just the kind of guy you’re going to have some growing pains with.You’re going to have to early on help this cat a lot more than those other two guys (i.e., Kalil and Reiff).” Didn’t work out at the combine because of an illness, and on campus ran the 40 in 5.35 seconds, had a 30-inch vertical and did 20 bench reps. Has 34-inch arms. “A little bit (overhyped),” another scout said. “I just don’t see the (butt) kick that everybody’s talking about. I have (Kelechi Osemele of) Iowa State over him, I have Mike Adams (of Ohio State) over him.”

• Mike Adams, Ohio State, 6-7¼, 323, Rounds 2-3

Just reported this week that he tested positive for marijuana at the combine, but it’s not clear if that will hurt his stock only a little or a lot, because teams confronted him about off-field issues and he took the questions head on. “He’s got some baggage, ghosts in his closets,” a scout said. “But he’s got some suddenness and some size. Where do you take him, because he has those character things? I think he could play left (tackle), he definitely could play right.” Was cited in ’09 for possession of marijuana paraphernalia but passed a drug test and wasn’t charged. Suspended for the first two games that season, started four games at left tackle, then missed the rest of the year because of a meniscus injury in his knee. Started at left tackle his final two years except for a five-game suspension at the start of ’10 for selling his Big Ten championship ring for $1,000. “There’s a little knucklehead in him, especially early on (at Ohio State),” another scout said. “That comes from growing up and it was just him and his mom.When he got there he got into a little trouble, then obviously when he got caught up in the selling-their-stuff deal. His issues were more growing-up type things than anything else, nothing malicious or a thug, just maturity issues. I like him the more I think about him. He can play with his hands, that’s why I would keep him at left tackle. He’s powerful and nasty, likes to finish his blocks.” Ran the 40 in 5.31 seconds, had a 28½-inch vertical, did 19 bench reps. “I’ve got him up there high,” a third scout said. “I’m trying to kill the kid because of (too much) height but I can’t. If he can’t play left, switch him to right. It doesn’t matter if you play right or left, because teams are now playing pass rushers that are capable of getting to the quarterback on both sides. The most athletic (rusher) isn’t on the right side rushing the passer anymore, he can be on the run side as well. So you have to find (tackles) that can play on both sides.”

• Bobby Massie, Mississippi, 6-6 1/8, 316, Rounds 2-3

Entering the NFL after his true junior season, started the final 29 games of his career at right tackle. Has the long arms (35 inches) of a left tackle but played on the right side his entire college career and might not be athletic enough to make the change. “I like his length, good size,” a scout said. “I like that he’s pretty light on his feet, an athletic type. He wasn’t athletic enough to be a left tackle, but I think he can be a right tackle as far as pass protection. Has decent technique, kind of surprising, and has the flexibility to lower his hips and slide and all that. He can get a little bigger, so he’ll be better suited to play on the right side.” Ran the 40 in 5.19 seconds, had a 27½-inch vertical, did 22 bench reps. “To me, he’s kind of like a dancing bear, and I’m not sure how strong he is,” a scout said. “His pad level is a little tall, and I’m not 100 percent sure he’s a mauler. When he comes off the ball in the run game his hips stay high, and you don’t see that flat back and getting into a guy and rootin’ him with that low pad level. In the pass game he has good feet and should be able to handle the edge rushers in this game. Can he handle the power rushers in the NFL? Not sure.”

• Zebrie Sanders, Florida State, 6-5 5/8, 320, Rounds 3-4

Three-year starter played primarily at right tackle but moved to left tackle for the last nine games last season after an injury to the starter. Has the long arms of a left tackle (35 inches) but probably isn’t athletic enough to play there regularly in the NFL. “Really smart,” a scout said. “Little stiff. But he’s going to be on your team and a guy you won’t have to tell more than once, he’s going to pick it up quick. I don’t think he’s a left, I think he’d get killed over there because he has some tightness in his hips. Kind of reminds me the guy up in Green Bay, the Mississippi State guy (i.e., 2010 first-round pick Derek Sherrod), I thought (Sherrod) was a little stiff from the waist down, straight legged.” Ran the 40 in 5.37 seconds, had a 27-inch vertical, did 29 bench reps. “Really liked him at the Senior Bowl,” a third scout said. “He’s got a chance, put him at the bottom of the third round.”

• Mitchell Schwartz, California, 6-5 3/8, 318, Rounds 3-4

Is brother of Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz. Redshirt senior started every game of his college career, mostly at left tackle. Figures to play right tackle in the NFL and has the bulk and power to move to guard. “Pretty interesting guy,” a scout said. “Smart as (crap) now. He looks like he could be a swing (guard-tackle) guy, could play multiple positions. If you need a sixth lineman to be a guard or a jumbo tight end, he gives you some flexibility.I think he could be a starter in the league and eventually be a left-side guy. But I don’t think you want to throw him to the wolves right away, you have to put him on the right (side).” Ran the 40 in 5.40 seconds, had a 26½-inch vertical, did 23 bench reps. “I saw him as a backup type player,” another scout said. “He’s versatile. He’s a solid pass protector, has decent bend and all that, so he’s more of a pass guy than a run blocker. He has decent lower-body strength, not great but decent. He could probably play guard. He’s a little stiff in the hips.”

• Brandon Mosley, Auburn, 6-5 5/8, 314, Rounds 3-4

Played tight end and defensive tackle in junior college, then moved to offensive line after he transferred to Auburn. Started his final 24 games at Auburn, mostly at right tackle. Raw, but has the arm length (34 inches) and athletic ability to play left tackle in the NFL. “You have to wait for him,” a scout said. “You have to play him as much as you can early in preseason games and give him a taste of it and fix a lot of technique stuff.The offense he’s been in, he hasn’t played in a traditional offense. It’s something you worry about with that kind of guy, he’s going to get exposed. I’d say two, three years before you put him out there (at left tackle) and feel good about him.” Ran the 40 in 5.16 seconds, had a 27-inch vertical, did 30 bench reps. “I like Moseley,” another scout said. “He’s a tough son of a (gun) in the trenches, plays with good pad level and physicality. He’s a guy who has to keep his weight under control and make sure he doesn’t balloon up.”

• Matt Reynolds, BYU, 6-4½, 302, Rounds 4-5

His father is a BYU assistant coach, and he had three brothers who played offensive line at the school. One of the brothers, Dallas, finished last season on Philadelphia’s practice squad and was re-signed the 80-man roster in January. “This is the most talented of them all,” one scout said of the four brothers. “I heard great things about this kid character-wise, and he’s got more (crap) in his neck than his brothers, the brothers were nicer than him.I think the kid has potential. I really liked his brother, I thought he had a shot. But this kid is better.” Served a two-year Mormon mission, redshirted in 2007, then started every game at left tackle in his four years at the school. Lost 30 pounds before his senior season and many scouts think he can play right tackle in the NFL, though some see him as a guard. “I question his ability to be an NFL tackle because he has short arms (33¼ inches), I have reservations about his reach. I saw him more as a guy on the inside. He’s a little bit of a project if he moves from tackle to guard.” Ran the 40 in 5.32 seconds, didn’t jump because he hurt an ankle in position drills, did 25 bench reps.

• Nate Potter, Boise State, 6-5 7/8, 303, Rounds 4-5

Was a 230-pound linebacker entering college, switched to offensive line after sitting out school his first semester as a grayshirt and then redshirting the next season. Started all but six games in his career, primarily at left tackle. Has the size and long limbs (34 5/8-inch arms) of a left tackle but will need to get stronger. “Has some athletic versatility,” a scout said. “Good instincts, good football IQ, all that kind of stuff. I see him as a left tackle and a pass protector more than a run blocker. He struggles with bull rushers because he’s so long and lean, he gets out-leveraged. He’s not overly physical. I question his nastiness.” Ran the 40 in 5.29 seconds, had a 28½-inch vertical, did 22 bench reps.

Guards

• David DeCastro, Stanford, 6-4 7/8, 316, Round 1

Entering the draft after his redshirt junior season, started every game at right guard the last three years and is looking like a top 20 to 25 pick. “No question,” a scout said of DeCastro going that high. “I generally don’t put guards or centers in the first round, especially not centers, those guys are second through fifth if they’re decent. This guy could play right tackle, he’s that athletic, has great feet. They pull him both right and left, extremely good in space, attacks the linebackers at that second level, sift through traffic. You talk about a (mean streak), this is the guy. He likes to bury your (butt), and he does it every chance he gets. I love this guy.” Ran the 40 in 5.34 seconds, had a 29½-inch vertical and did 34 bench-press reps at the scouting combine. “I like him a lot,” another scout said. “When he pulls, he can pull and stick it to you.” Another third scout said he’s not as good a prospect as former perennial Pro Bowler Steve Hutchinson, who was the No. 17 pick in the 2001 draft. “An instinctive player,” the scout said of DeCastro. “You like the strength, good natural strength there. A little bit tight, but he’s competitive and looks to go after people to finish his blocks. He moves fairly well, at his pro day he moved better than I thought for a guy that’s more of a weight lifter. If you had Hutchinson and this guy (in the same draft), this guy wouldn’t be a first-rounder. It’s all relative to what’s out there.”

• Cordy Glenn, Georgia, 6-5¾, 345, Rounds 1-2

Four-year starter played mostly guard his first three seasons then moved to left tackle last year. Most but not all scouts see him as a guard in the NFL. “He could start at right tackle, his feet and everything (are good enough),” a scout said. “He might be a little tall (for guard), put him outside, 6-5, he’s got good length. The guy ran a 5-flat 40, 5.01, he’s just athletic as (heck). Feet like that and length, start him outside, and if can’t play on edge then move him inside.” Has long arms (35¾ inches). Ran the 40 in 5.09 seconds, had a 23½-inch vertical and did 31 bench reps at the combine. Not as driven as scouts would like. “I’m not a big fan of his,” another scout said. “I know he’s got talent. I think he’s got some dog in him. He ain’t real bright, and he doesn’t have a lot of effort. He has some ability, but you have to put a foot up his (butt).”

• Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin, 6-3 7/8, 314, Rounds 1-2

Played at Wisconsin Lutheran High School in Milwaukee, started at right guard most of his final three years at Wisconsin, though he probably can play center in the NFL, too. “I like the way he plays,” a scout said. “There’s more upside in Cordy Glenn, when he wants to play you could see a flash, where the other guy (i.e., Zeitler) does everything because he overachieves. I think he’d be better at guard.He doesn’t pull bad, he’s pretty good on the move.” Ran the 40 in 5.36 seconds, had a 29-inch vertical and did 32 bench reps. “I liked him but a little lazy to be honest with you,” another scout said. “I’m watching the center (i.e., Peter Konz) and looking at (Zeitler) going, hmmm. Tough. He’s got the size you’re looking for in a guard. I just saw a couple guys ahead of him.”

• Amini Silatolu, Midwestern State, 6-3 5/8, 311, Rounds 2-3

Junior-college transfer first went to Nevada in ’09 but was academically ineligible and didn’t play. Transferred to Division II Midwestern State in ’10 and started at left tackle for two years. “Not real smart, but that (expletive) can really move,” a scout said. “He might be the best puller in the draft. You play him next to a smart guy and tell him to go get ’em.I’m telling you, he has some upside, but you have to hold your breath on him having to make any (line) calls, you have to take it off him.” Strong, tough and shows a mean streak. Ran the 40 in 5.33 seconds, had a solid 31½-inch vertical and did 28 bench reps. Still is raw and undisciplined, and has questionable awareness. Didn’t play in any all-star games, so scouts haven’t seen him against a high level of competition. “After DeCastro, this is probably the next-best guy on the interior,” another scout said. “You’re talking about a (butt) kicker. This guy was a tackle, some teams might start him out there because of the length of his arms, but something tells me he’s going to be working in the middle. You talk about burying people, holy smokes. He’s got that Polynesian descent in him, he’s trying to kick everybody’s (butt), and at that level he’s doing it. He’s got the temperament you’re looking for in an interior guy.”

• Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State, 6-5½, 333, Rounds 2-3

Started 38 games in his four seasons, including left tackle his final three years. Probably will move inside in the NFL, though he could be a right tackle. “He has a good base, a nice mirror, he has this ability when he loses on a guy he can turn his hips,” a scout said. “The only thing that gets him in a little trouble is he gets top heavy and leans on guys. But inside he wouldn’t be in space as much, so he’d be a space eater that doesn’t have to worry about a lot of edge rushers.” Ran the 40 in 5.27 seconds, had a 26½-inch vertical and did 32 bench reps. Great size but surprisingly raw and not instinctive or tough. “Liked him better at the Senior Bowl than I did on the school tape,” a scout said. “School tape was good, (but at the Senior Bowl) I saw some things, maybe the NFL coaches were teaching him techniques that will help in the NFL. I just saw some laziness at Iowa State. But a big athlete that can move his feet and run.”

Centers

• Peter Konz, Wisconsin, 6-5, 314, Rounds 1-2

Played at Neenah High School and is entering the draft after his redshirt junior season. Started at center his final three seasons at Wisconsin and might go late in the first round. “I think he’s a lot like Nick Mangold,” one scout said, comparing Konz to the New York Jets’ No. 29 pick overall in 2006. “He can be a big, strong, physical center that actually has athletic ability to pull, and he’s smart. When I interviewed him I thought, ‘here’s a guy that gets it.’ He’s pretty good. I think he has first-round ability. I like him a lot. He’s smart enough, he makes all the calls for them, he’s well coached. He’s a pretty talented kid.” Had blood clots in his lungs that forced him to miss the final two games of his redshirt freshman year and sustained a dislocated left ankle last season that kept him out of the final three regular-season games before he returned for the Rose Bowl. At his campus workout increased his bench reps to 23 from 18 at the combine. Scouts love his size but some think his athleticism is overrated. “I don’t like him,” another scout said. “I don’t know (why everybody is so high on him). I’m watching tape on him and he’s on the ground too much for me. I have him as the sixth-rated interior lineman. What everybody’s enamored with is that 6-foot-5, 318 pounds. He’s got durability issues.I question his athletic skill set because he’s always on the ground. You see him on film tripping over guys on the ground. I don’t get it, I didn’t like him. When you see guys that are on the ground – I’d rather have a slow-footed, slug guy that defeats his block every time. This guy is just on the ground way too much for me.”

• Phillip Blake, Baylor, 6-2¾, 311, Rounds 2-3

Played in high school in Canada, then Tyler (Texas) Community College for a season before transferring to Baylor, where he started at right tackle his first season and center his last two. Turns 27 in November. “Blake’s got a little (crap) in his neck,” a scout said, using one of the NFL’s euphemisms for a mean streak. “The thing about Blake, he’s very versatile. He’s played every line position, he’s a JC transfer kid, he’s had to endure and show some toughness and get it done. I like everything he brings to the table. I know a lot of people have Brewster from Ohio State and Molk from Michigan ahead of a lot of these guys, but when you really break him down (Blake) is the No. 1 center.” Ran the 40 in 5.18 seconds, had a 29½-inch vertical and did 22 bench reps. Could play center or guard. Comes from a college spread passing offense. “It’s like the guys coming from Hawaii, that style of offense,” a scout said, “you have to project if he can play in an NFL offense, because they did so much with that quarterback, with the spread stuff and the read (option), you never see (the center) against the nose guard. It’s hard to project. He has good range, he can reach guys. He’s a little tight in the hips, but he’s a guy that’s going to be on somebody’s team, be on a roster. You might want to groom him and see if he can play guard before you move him to center.”

• Ben Jones, Georgia, 6-2 5/8, 303, Rounds 2-3

Four-year starter was named team MVP last season. “I like him a lot,” a scout said. “He’s smart. I know he’s getting a lot of play from the Redskins and the Jets. He might be a zone guy. He and the kid from Wisconsin are the smartest two (linemen), really sharp guys. He’s a little bit undersized, doesn’t have the range the kid from Wisconsin has, but he’s quick as (heck) and he’s smart, really smart.You watch the LSU game, he’s knocking the (crap) out of guys. He’s a tough kid.” Ran the 40 in 5.36 seconds, had a 30½-inch vertical and did 29 bench reps. “Good leverage and balance,” another scout said. “Snaps and gets his hands up quick against pass rush. He can get down and anchor. Just the basic things about offensive linemen, lateral feet to slide and mirror. And at times he gets a little nasty, gets a little (expletive) in him, I like that.”

• David Molk, Michigan, 6-0 7/8, 298, Rounds 3-4

Short, highly competitive player who redshirted his freshman season then started when healthy thereafter. “He’s not as talented as Alex Mack was coming out of Cal-Berkeley,” a scout said, likening Molk to the No. 21 pick overall in the 2009 draft, “but he’s got a little chip on his shoulder. He’s an undersized guy, he’s always talking about how he was little and they challenged him at Michigan through the new coaching staff. He rubs you a little wrong. I know the Brewster guy (from Ohio State) hated him at the combine. (Molk) is not a guy that jumps out and like, hey, you want the guy to be your best friend. But he plays hard, plays physical, and because of his size he has pretty good technique, because if he didn’t have good technique you couldn’t win with him.” Missed four games as a redshirt sophomore because of a broken left foot and later sustained a torn right ACL that year. Did 41 bench reps, which was second-most at this year’s combine. “The thing about this guy,” another scout said, “he’s a competitor, he’s tough, he’s athletic, he’s quick. He can snap and turn his hips and wall and shield for inside run lanes. I liked his competitiveness. This is football, you have to be aggressive and tough. The only problem is he’s 6-foot and he’s under 300 pounds. A lot of offensive line coaches are going to love this guy because of his athleticism and his motor and how he tries to kick somebody’s (butt).”

• Michael Brewster, Ohio State, 6-4 1/8, 312, Rounds 3-4

Never redshirted and started 49 consecutive games. “He’s on the ground a little bit,” a scout said. “He’s another kid that’s pretty good intelligence-wise. In his workout it looked like he’s gotten a little bigger and he’s bending a little bit better. He’s training with someone, working more on fundamental football things. His body just needs to get a little stronger. He doesn’t have the leverage of Ben Jones and doesn’t have the size of the kid at Wisconsin, but he definitely has a body you can build. He’s not as athletic as either of those two guys, but he does everything pretty good. Nothing great, but good.” Graduated last semester. Ran the 40 in 5.28 seconds, had a 25-inch vertical and did 29 bench reps. “Not a lot of urgency on tape, not a lot of (butt) kick,” a scout said. “I didn’t see him burying and pancaking guys. But I liked him at the Senior Bowl. That’s a weird setting down there anyway because it’s a lot of drill work, and then the game, it’s really vanilla, there’s not a lot of line stunts and things like that. Brewster just didn’t play (last season) with a lot of pizzazz, a lot of kick (butt), and that kind of bothers me when you’re in the middle of that line and you’re not whipping the (crap) out of somebody. You see a flash of him pancaking a guy, and then he’s running around trying to hit somebody. It’s like, man, you’re running by two defenders, go hit that guy.”

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