The Square Pigeon’s 2019 NFL Draft Coverage – Offensive Linemen (Guards/Centers)
Top 5 Interior Offensive Lineman
Guards and centers just might be the two most underrated positions in football. Typically, most of these guys will have to wait until day two before they get selected; however, I think two of these guys will come off the board in the first round.
1) Garrett Bradbury North Carolina State
The 2018 Rimington Trophy winner (nations best center) should be off the board by the end of the first day. After starting two seasons at left guard, Garrett Bradbury moved to center for his senior season. The move paid off as Bradbury not only won the Rimington, but he was named to the first team All-ACC and first-team All-American.
Bradbury isn’t just another big guy anchoring the line. The former tight end is still an athletic runner despite putting on the pounds to play center. He is constantly pushing the action and looking for someone to hit. His athleticism allows for a large range to accommodate his want to hit someone.
His star really shines as a pass blocker, but he needs work as a run blocker. He is a little underweight for an interior lineman which partly accounts for is lack of drive on running plays. Again, he is only a couple of years removed from being a tight end, so I expect him to put on some more weight to help rectify these issues.
2) Chris Lindstrom Boston College
Chris Lindstrom, like Bradbury, was a first-team All-ACC member, but Lindstrom fell to a third team All-American. During his junior season, he also played 11 games as a right tackle. I expect him to stay at guard at the next level given his height and success as a senior in 2018.
Watching his burst off the snap is inspiring. He quickly engages and pushes back defenders. He can quickly switch from player to player when adjusting for twists or stunts. Regaining control after initial engagement highlights his high motor as he never quits.
The problem is he has to show off that recovery ability too often. Pass rushers tend to win the first battle pushing Lindstrom backward several yards before he is able to recover and hold his ground. NFL defenders won’t be stopped as easily after that initial win.
3) Michael Jordan Ohio State
Michael Jordan is an interesting prospect because of his versatility. After starting 27 games at left guard, Jordan moved to center for his senior season, so he has experience at both positions. His height and weight might allow him to move to tackle.
Jordan has stated that he wants to move back to guard, and there is plenty of evidence to show that he is better suited for that position. His ability as a run blocker at left guard is far more evident. Given his young age, he has plenty of time to bulk up to solidify his ability as a guard.
If I had to guess, playing center isn’t as fun for Jordan which is why he wants to move back to guard. At center, he sometimes lost patience looking for someone to block then he would leave his zone to assist with another lineman. This would leave holes for defenders to easily slip through.
4) Elgton Jenkins Mississippi State
I’m not sure what to think about Elgton Jenkins. He has played at tackle, guard, and center during his college career. At every position, he has been at least pretty good. Jenkins has the ability to be the best lineman in this draft.
His strong, physical presence makes him a force anywhere on the line. Add that to his quick first step, and you can almost chalk him into a starting line up as a rookie. His performance against SEC defenses, including Alabama, should prove his ability.
I would just like to see him mean. He gets to the spot quickly and engages. He controls the matchup, but I want to see him hit someone. For the most, he seems like he is just there. He holds his position consistently, but I want to see dominate.
5) Erik McCoy Texas A&M
Erik McCoy, unlike the other centers on this list, was a center for nearly all of his college starts. With 39 college starts, all but two of those starts were at the center. He has fared well against SEC defensive fronts much like Jenkins which should show his ability to compete at the next level.
At the combine, McCoy put up an impressive 4.89 in the 40 plus he put up 29 in the bench press. His work ethic both on and off the field shows up on film. Every play, he fights until the play is stopped regardless of the outcome. Also, his awareness on the field shows he puts in the time to study his opponents.
Despite his surprising athletic ability, McCoy fails to create much of a push in the run game. He seems much more comfortable as a pass blocker which is good, but he needs to create more power to push those big men in the middle.