Centers 

The were eight OCs selected in the 2021 draft, as follows:

Round 2 - 3

Round 3 - 1

Round 4 - 1

Round 6 - 1

Round 7 - 2

 

While eight isn't a lofty body count, it wouldn't surprise me to see everyone land on a team and even start within 2-3 years. Despite a pivot man not going in Round 1, two could've have if the surrounding talent shaped out differently.

The 2022 draft does offer some starter talent, but I still have the top 3-4 centers from the 2021 grading higher than the best of the bunch below. That could certainly change as the season progresses, but there isn't a guy I'd beat the table for as of right now unless he were to slide down the draft board. 

1) Tyler Linderbaum | 6'3 | 289 | C | Iowa 

9/11 -  Iowa State - Linderbaum had a very good game. While there were a few times where he looked like he needs to add more power to his game, he was generally very good. He was a wall in pass pro, and even when rocked he reset well. In the run game, he was great at landing angle blocks and using leverage to steer defenders as he wanted. 

10/30 - Wisconsin - Amid a very heavy run blitz scheme, Linderbaum held down his responsibilities. While not real big, he played string, was often able to turn and drive his man in the run game. He was also a wall in pass pro, looking like an NFL starter.

11/13 - Minnesota- Linderbaum showed why he's the nation's top center, and it's not even close. On several snaps, he was able to fire out and cross the face of the defender, creating a  great cutoff block. When head up, he was a wall in pass pro and moved his man in the run game. 

2) Alec Lindstrom | 6'3 | 290 | C | Boston College 

10/2 - Clemson - Lindstrom had a solid game. He showed off a good blend of quickness and power, as he was able to get into defenders and turn them out or off the play. While there wasn't one trait that showed dominance, he simply looked balanced in all regards, a dependable blocker.

10/16 - NC State - Lindstrom had another good outing. When NC State was able to get pressure, it wasn't really against Lindstrom. He was a wall in pass pro, while showing his ability to neutralize his man in the ground game. 

3) Dohnovan West | 6'4 | 300 | C | Arizona State

9/11- UNLV - West had a solid night. He was quick to snap the ball and then get into his man. He played with a good blend of power and balance. He was equally adept in pass pro as he was run blocking. 

10/30 - Washington State - West a a very respectable if not great game. He impressed with how quickly he was able to snap the ball and get into his assignment. While showing power as a head up run blocker, he also showed plus ability to pull out into space and hunt defenders. He was generally a wall in pass pro, held his ground quite well. 

11/5- USC - West checked the boxes again in this one. He was a wall in pass pro, showed off good anchor strength. In the run game, he got into his man and create running lanes for his RB.

11/13 - Washington - ASU ran wild against UW, and West was a huge reason why that occurred. Throughout the night, he steered his man off the ball, created some great run lanes for White. He looked like a Day 2 pivot man in this one.  

11/20 - Oregon State - West had a decent, but not great game. He was generally able to hemm his man up in both the pass and run game, but did little in the way of dominating. 

4) Ricky Stromberg | 6'4 | 310 | C | Arkansas

9/11 - Texas - Stromberg had a very good night. He executed his combo blocks well, as he was very adept breaking of off the D-lineman and then working up to the second level. He showed quickness off the snap, also displayed the ability to turn defenders off the ball. Even when going against the monstrous Coburn, he had success.

10/16 - Auburn - Stromberg had a very respectable game. While run games weren't easy to come by, and pressure was allowed, almost all of this was outside of Stromberg's control. He generally did a good job of hemming his man up in all facets of the game, held strong overall. 

11/20 - Alabama - Stromberg had a decent outing. While they couldn't always move the ball on the ground, he was solid in pass rpo, gave his QB enough interior help to get balls off. 

5) Jarrett Patterson | 6'5 | 300 | C | Notre Dame

9/4 Florida State - Patterson had a very average game in my book. He nor any other O-lineman could create much of a push up front, as FSU stymied their run game. Patterson was generally sound in hemming up his man, and aside from one holding penalty he was clean. He was dominant, however.

6) Alex Forsyth | 6'4 | 305 | C | Oregon

9/11 - Ohio State - Forsyth had a very solid game. He was very reliable in pass protection, did a good job of hemming up some very good opposing DT talent. In the run game, he landed some really good angle blocks to clear his man out of the play-hole, opening up run lanes. While he did lack strength at times, his ability to pull and seal off targets made up for it. 

7) James Empey | 6'3 | 300 | C | BYU

9/4 - Arizona - Empey had a solid night. He showcased the ability to throw a block at the LOS, then work up to the second level to seal a LB. While he didn't exude great power, he used angles well to get leverage on opposing D-linemen. He was also very reliable in pass pro.

9/11 - Utah - Empey had a very good night. BYU ran at will against Utah's defense, and Empey was pivotal in their success. He landed quite a few good blocks, steered his man of the ball to open up holes.  

8) Nick Ford | 6'5 | 315 | C | Utah

9) Ben Brown | 6'4 | 315 | C | Ole Miss

9/5 - Louisville - I was admittedly disappointed with Brown's play. He lined up at RG vs. center, and the positional difference really stood out. While Brown showed good power and anchor capabilities, he wasn't real mobile, looked slow and stodgy too often. His lack of athleticism was masked running the pivot, the position he's much better suited to play.

10) Doug Kramer | 6'2 | 306 | C | Illinois

8/28 Nebraska - Kramer had a solid game. He played with strength overall, wasn't bullied. He was generally very solid in pass pro, and showed of good technique and angle understanding in the run game. While he couldn't consistently get in position on cut off blocks, he wasn't bad by any measure. DT/DE Ben Stille bettered him a couple times, but Kramer held up well.  

9/11 - Virginia - Kramer had a very solid game. He was quick off the snap, executed his combo blocks well. He showed off a good balance of quickness and power.

11) Nathan Eldridge | 6'4 | 292 | C | Oregon State 

9/4 - Purdue - Eldridge had an uneven game. There were some snaps where he looked good, either steering his man off the ball or working up to the second level. On others, he whiffed or looked very average in carrying out his assigned task. He was also flagged for a facemask on one blocking attempt.

11/20 - Arizona State - Eldridge had a very respectable if not solid game. He often locked horns with D.J. Davidson, one of the best pure NT's in the nation. While Davidson got the better of this pivot man several times, Eldridge landed some nice blocks of his own, hemming up the big man. 

12) Dawson Deaton | 6'5 | 300 | C | Texas Tech

9/4 - Houston - Deaton had a solid game. While he wasn't real athletic overall, he was able to latch onto his man and use commanding strength and leverage to better his opponent. While decent as a run blocker, he was better in pass pro.

13) Grant Gibson | 6'1 | 302 | C | NC State

9/2 - South Florida - Gibson had a solid game. He was generally adequate in pass pro, while delivering a push in the run game. He didn't look real athletic, would best fit in a power run scheme offense. 

9/11 - Mississippi State - Gibson was sturdy in the middle, his O-line failed to get an adequate push to establish the run game. While he didn't look bad, he was merely average carrying out his assignments.