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Centers in 2007 NFL Draft

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Many teams believe center is more about scheme, intangibles and desired skill level. Thus, the overall rankings vary from team to team as much as any position in the draft. It would not be surprising to see just three or ...

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Old 04-18-2007, 08:00 PM   #1
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Centers in 2007 NFL Draft

Many teams believe center is more about scheme, intangibles and desired skill level. Thus, the overall rankings vary from team to team as much as any position in the draft.
It would not be surprising to see just three or four center prospects taken on the first day of the draft. But there are six to eight others who could become steady backups if not eventual starters in the league.

1. Ryan Kalil, C, 6027, 299, 4.96, USC

The leader of the Trojans' prolific offensive line is very durable and experienced as a 3 year starter. An extremely hard worker and great leader on and off the field. He will be considered undersized in certain blocking schemes but he has proven to be a great techinician with excellent footwork and student of the game. He find a hole in the defender's game and exploit it on more plays than he is beaten. Ryan is very quick off the snap and to his assignment. He has quick feet and gets out of his stance and into proper position off the snap.

Not the biggest or the strongest, and as a center will not be that sexy pick in the first or even 2nd round. Kalil can struggles at times when faced with a man over him.

His competitive nature and high football IQ make him one of the better all-around center prospects in several years.Scouts loved his easy going attitude and he wowed them with a 4.96 40 time, the 3rd fastest among offensive linemen. He solidified himself as the top center prospect in the process. Will be solid contributor to the team that takes him at the next level. Ryan is a very solid prospect

2. Josh Beekman - 6019, 309, 5.36, Boston College (OG/OC)

Beekman is a compact blocker that plays with good balance and a strong base at the point of attack. Although he might be undersized to play guard, he has an ideal frame for the middle and can handle bigger, bull rushers thanks to his large upper body and strong hands. A powerful and nasty run blocker that delivers a wallop at point of attack. Tenacious player that possesses good awareness, and agility and can block on the move. Josh is smart, athletic and technically sound pass protector. Beekman earned high marks from teammates and opposing prospects for playing hard. Gives a good effort on every play.

He struggles to maintain his blocks down field. Athleticism and quickness are not special. Footwork needs refinement. He seems stiff. His range and mobility are limited and will have some trouble with quick and speedy defenders. Plays a little high and will lunge when blocking in space. Arms are shorter than ideal. Doesn’t always finish his blocks. He could work on his overall conditioning as a few less pounds might make him more agile/flexible.

Could play Center or Guard at the next level. Would fit well in a “run oriented” zone blocking scheme. Loves the game and is committed to it. An excellent all-around player who doesn't necessarily stand out in any one area but does everything well. The type of guy who may never be an All-Pro but is the classic B.C. lineman who'll play and start in the league for a long time.

3. Samson Satele - 6025, 300 5.25, Hawaii (OG/OC)

Hawaii's best pro prospect so far this decade. A freakish athlete for a person of his body type. Great natural strength and speed. Quick from snap to contact. Equally devastating as a run blocker or a pro-style pass protector. Very quick in limited areas, and can pull with outstanding quickness.Delivers a real pop and is able to sustain his blocks and keep his feet moving upon contact. Has played in an offense that makes him a very seasoned pass protector. Even with his wide base he is light on his feet and he uses his hands well in pass pro. Does not get caught in hand fights. Is rarely on the ground. He has good recognition of the defense and can make the line calls.

Can miss occassionally when pulling. His speed can sometimes be used against him. Height is not ideal, but adequate.

He is what he is, which is pretty darned good. One of the best dual-purpose interior linemen in this draft. Durable 4-year starter at a variety of positions. Has done it all, another transplanted offensive guard who might find greater success inside thanks to his body type, smarts and intangibles. Versatility is a huge plus. Little upside. May have maxed out.

4. Doug Datish - 6041, 302, 5.13, Ohio St. (OG/OC)

Datish is extraordinarily versatile with starting experience at center, guard and tackle. He has good quickness, athleticism, mobility and is technically sound (does all the little things). Doug is a nasty and plays with a killer instinct. A good athlete for his size who keeps hands on you until the play is over. With a frame to add some weight and bulk up.Smart and a hard worker with good intangibles.

A bit overrated and is not in great shape. Hasn't had a lot of starting experience at any one position. Does not get much of an initial push, has short arms and plays too high at times. Despite his size he is not overly strong or powerful and can be too aggressive. A 'tweener who might not be a perfect fit at any pro position. Looks maxed.

Datish is one of the better center prospects. Played guard early in his career, left tackle as a junior and then moved to center as a senior to replace Nick Mangold. At the absolute least he could be an extremely valuable backup at the next level and potentially a whole lot more.

5. Leroy Harris - 6024, 302, 5.35, N. Carolina St. (OG/OC)

Harris is a big, strong and smart versatility player with the ability to play either inside spot on the OL. He has a ton of experience as a four-year starter. He is smart with good awareness and instincts that allow him to takes good angles to defenders. Leroy is a tough, powerful player that has the killer instinct to finish plays. Good drive. Stout and holds his ground and it is difficult to shed once he's locked on. Hard worker with excellent intangibles

Somewhat undersized and needs to get bigger to get a better push. Isn't a mauler. Not overly fast or agile so he has a bit of trouble in space. Needs to develop better quickness Struggles with speed. Some minor durability concerns.

A jack-of-all-trades who does everything well but nothing great. Harris is married and has a child. Has starting potential at the pro level but should at least be a top backup. Marginal upside.

6. Scott Stephenson - 6032, 297, 5.20, Iowa St (OG/OC)

He is a hard worker with ideal agility and toughness who started every game the past two years despite surgeries on both shoulders. Great size for a center and a very intense player. Has a motor that never stops.A decent athlete with good quickness, mobility and is known for finishing off blacks downfield. Does a nice job in space. Smart and a hard worker with top intangibles. Has decent size and the frame to get a little bigger

Somewhat raw and is still learning all the aspects of playing the position. Footwork is a bit of a concern. His shoulders might concern some teams and he needs to increase his lower body strength. Not overly stout at the point of attack and plays too high at times.

Stephenson began his career as a defensive line recruit at Minnesota before transferring and becoming an All-Big 12 performer at center in Ames. More of a zone-blocker and may not be a fit for every scheme. A prospect whose stock is really on the rise.

7. Dan Mozes 6025, 293, 5.35, West Virgina

Has been talked about as an elite center for a long time, and has always lived up to it. Dan is a smart, versatile, tough and a solid tactician who is equally effective in both major phases. Very quick from snap to contact. Built compactly and is very, very strong. Hits you and you stay hit. Can get into secondary blocks, takes good angles and can usually hit a moving target. A solid pass blocker who plays with good technique and feel for the position. Sets up quick, gets good position and can wall defenders from the ball. Nastiness and aggressiveness. Never takes a play off and plays with passion. Competitive. Few weaknesses. Has a great personality and will work hard and never give anyone lip.

Lacks dominating strength and a good anchor. Doesn’t get much movement in the run game. Can be overwhelmed by bigger defenders. Allows defenders into his body too often. Arms a shorter than ideal. Doesn't get out on the second-level as well as some other interior linemen in this draft. Not a great shotgun snapper.

Great upbringing and character. Four year starter and all-American. Twice voted a Big East first teamer. Best fit is in zone blocking scheme…. as a backup. Late 2nd round-to-early 3rd. His draft positioning has slipped some because of all the underclass talent that had come into the draft, but his play hasn't slipped at all.

8. Dustin Fry - 6025, 315, 5.40 Clemson (OG/OC)

Fry has a wealth of experience in the shotgun formation and delivers the ball with great velocity and accuracy. He also was a primary factor behind the Tigers' punishing ground attack. Displays excellent balance and stays on his feet. He has a very strong upper body with a wide base and packs a solid initial punch to stun and plays with superb leverage. Powerful with outstanding strength and is a real mauler in the running game. He likes to roughhouse in the middle. Tough and a hard worker with good intangibles.

Fry is not very quick or athletic and has limited mobility. His footwork and agility are average. Struggles with speed and in space. He has some minor durability concerns. Only started for two years and is still raw

An intriguing prospect who could be a workout warrior but he looks like a prototypical Center and could also project to guard.
Potential might be all but maxed out.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:04 PM   #2
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9. Kyle Young, 6047, 354, 5.58, Fresno State (OG/OC)

Kyle has been as reliable as Ol' Faithful and as hardworking as any steelmill jack. Started every game from his freshman year forward--51 straight starts. Very solid pure center who knows everything there is to know about the position and has seen (and done) it all. Equally adept at pass blocking and run blocking. Pro size and athleticism. Great motor. Shows the ability to move over to guard, and many teams are projecting just such a move for Young. Keeps fighting to the whistle on almost every snap. Nasty streak comes out quite often. Paved the way for a great year by RB Dwayne Wright. Experience is a big plus. He has seen it all.

Not the fastest guy around. Doesn't always hit his target when moving. Bounces off some blocks rather than finishing them. Doesn't always go for the throat. Did not work as hard in '06 at times as he had in the past. Fresno State's '06 meltdown can not be attributed solely to the O-line, but Kyle did not successfully reverse the trend through the leadership he displayed in the past.

One of the top 2-3 centers in the country. A guy this polished at the position is rare. Worth a first day pick, but late (and mild) character concerns may push him down some. He ended his career rather ignominiously, however, being suspended for his last regular season game for failing to attend classes. Rumors are that he has read too many of his press clippings.

10. Mark Fenton - 6042, 290, 5.17, Colorado

Big strong lineman can play center or guard. A solid technician that is able to dominate once he locks on. Pass blocking is very good. Pretty quick and uses his hands well. Has a good frame and there is room for him to get bigger. Has a lot of experience. Still has some upside.

Instincts and awareness are questionable as is his work ethic(?). Lacks a killer instinct and needs to get tougher. Needs to bulk up and add weight. Can work on his run blocking and plays too high. Not a great athlete and he struggles in space. Coming of a mid-season injury. Not much versatility
Missed half of his senior campaign with a broken leg. Has some tools to work with but does he have the intangibles needed to maximize that potential?

He earned some preseason All-America mention, topped by Street & Smith’s naming him to its first-team; he was a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection by all the major magazines: Athlon, CBS SportsLine.com, collegefootballnews.com, Huskers Illustrated, Lindy’s Big 12 Football, Phil Steele’s College Football, The Sporting News, Street & Smith’s and USA Today Sports Weekly. Lindy’s ranked him as the No. 5 center nationally, with Phil Steele’s College Football and The Sporting News tabbing him in the No. 6 position. He is again on the official watch list for the Rimington Award (one of 39), and is also one of 44 players on the preseason list for the Lombardi Award (top interior lineman) and one of 54 on the official list for the Outland Trophy.


11. Enoka Lucas - 6025, 303, 5.37, Oregon

The native Hawaiian has a very quick first step allowing him to get good leverage on the densive lineman. A solid technician that very experienced, with 3 years of starting under his belt and is rarely being beat off the line of scrimmage. Tremendous against power DT's, or nose tackles due to incredible strength and consistency. Stout at the point. Nasty and plays with a killer instinct. Enoka has a very strong upper body, good footwork and is very strong in pass protection. Versatile with experience at guard and center. Hard worker with a great motor that is smart and aware. A team leader.

Adequate size and bulk but is not a very good athlete. Range and mobility are limited. He struggles in space. Is not overly powerful or explosive and plays too high at times. Could stand to add some weight. Has durability concerns.

Had surgery on both of his knees in high school and he dealt with thumb and knee issues in college. A good football player who doesn't test all that well. Profiles as more of a backup but could do real well in that role. Not as fast as Ryan Kalil, or as solid all around as Dan Mozes. Posted an very good number of reps at the combine with 34.

12. Drew Mormino - 6030, 299, 5.32, Central Michigan

Drew was overshadowed by Joe Staley but is a decent prospect in his own right. He is high motor guy that plays with a nasty demeanor and works hard to finish blocks. He plays with good leverage from his strong lower body strength to knock defenders off the ball. Good drive blocker with excellent balance. Good short area quickness. Has Plays with good awareness and intelligence. Rarely makes a mistake or is out of position. Smart and aware. Takes good angles and gets into position quickly. Has good footwork and can redirect defenders in pass protection with a good anchor. Has the frame to get bigger. A team leader that has a lot of experience and was a four-year starter.

Is not overly explosive or powerful. Really needs to get stronger and could use a little extra bulk. Feet are not very nimble and will struggles in space. Needs to use his hands better in order to be more stout at the point of attack. Arms are shorter than ideal. Has problems adjusting to moving targets and looks a little stiff. Lacks the athletic ability and agility.

Does not have ideal physical tools but could make it as a backup in the pros due to intangibles.

13. Lyle Sendlein - 6043, 284, 5.17, Texas

The two-year starter has been the anchor of the Longhorns offensive line, providing steady performances while being surrounded by more heralded teammates Jonathan Scott and Justin Blalock. Shows adequate quickness off the snap, doing a nice job of locating stunts and neutralizing pocket pressure thanks to his strong anchor and good base. Has very good size and a big frame. Not sudden off the ball, but comes up hard in the running game to gain advantage and is active with his hands to shock and jolt the defender. He has the functional initial step to reach or scoop, but lacks timed speed to play in the second level. Holds his position firmly at the point of attack. A solid technician. Made all the blocking assignment calls and communicates with his guards well in attempts to execute combo blocks. He is smart and aware. A tough, nasty, hard worker that is still improving and may have some upside.

Lacks the explosion coming off the snap. Best working on the line, as he struggles to change direction or get in front quickly on pulls and traps. Not very quick or athletic. Liability on pulls and traps due to poor timed speed that makes him struggle working in space. Lacks the speed to be effective blocking in space. Because of his poor change of direction, he fails to take good angles or show the burst needed to get out and neutralize second-level defenders. Range and mobility are quite limited. He is easily taken off his feet, as the defender can lock onto his exposed chest and jerk him down. Lacks nimble feet and plays too high at times. Can be too aggressive. Must get stronger.

Might excel in a zone blocking scheme. A fringe prospect who profiles as a backup at best. He could also play some guard

14. Nick Jones - 6013, 295, 5.22, Georgia

Nick Jones is an experienced and versatile offensive lineman, having started every game for the Bulldogs over the past three years. He's a relentless player who gives his all on and off the playing field. He excels at using his athleticism to slip to the second level with ease to engage and eliminate the LBs and DBs. He's equally effective as a pulling lineman, able to get out in front of the back and open holes in the second/third levels. Jones is an intelligent player and is a real leader on the line. Smart with excellent awareness and is technically sound playing with great leverage. Versatile and can play multiple positions. Very durable and has a ton of experience against top-notch competition. A team leader

Does not have the type of ideal size that you look for. Jones struggles as a pass blocker and drive blocker because of his lack of size and strength. His feet are very average. He is very susceptible to the bull rush and can be pushed backwards to disrupt the pocket for the QB. Sub par initial punch and displays poor balance. Not real stout at the point and does not get a big push. He needs help from the guard to block effectively inside.

Jones may be the hardest-working lineman in the football business. He started the final five games at center as a freshman, then spent his sophomore and junior years as the RG opposite Max-Jean Gilles. He started every game at center as a senior. If Jones is able to add some bulk and still show good athleticism, a zone-blocking team may take him late on day two.

15. Darnell Stapleton - 6015, 292, 5.22, Rutgers

Solid collegiate center and a two-year starter who paved the way for a breakout season by sophomore RB Ray Rice. Adequate size, explosion and flexibility. Gets the ball up quickly and fires into his man. Shows solid pass-blocking technique. Outstanding lower-body strength and moves very well. Very smart player with unparalleled field vision.

Not a special athlete. A bit smallish. Can be walked back by big NTs. Really lacks the upper body strength to take on the big DTs one-on-one. Does not have a frame to add much muscle mass.

Coach Schiano regrets that he only had Stapleton for 2 years after Juco and feels his best football is ahead of him.
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Old 04-18-2007, 08:05 PM   #3
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16. Chris White - 6- 3, 320, 5.25, S. Carolina

Chris White was the most consistent performer on a young South Carolina offensive line. He has exceptional size at the position. He gets the ball back cleanly to the QB and stays low to gain leverage on the defender. Chris has a strong base and can drop anchor as a pass defender. He exhibits a strong leg drive as a run blocker and can move defenders without guard help. White is very experienced and plays with a nasty streak.

White isn't an overly athletic player. He compensates for a lack of speed and quickness with his strength and drive. He is not effective pulling as he doesn't run well and does not pick up targets on the move with any real efficiency.

White is a big, strong, experienced center/guard prospect. His lack of athleticism will drop him to the latter stages of the draft at best, although he will certainly garner attention as a PFA if not drafted.

He had a neck injury prior to the 2002 season and took a medical redshirt that season. In 2003 he started 6 of the team's 12 games playing guard and center. In 2004 he started 10 of 11 games at LG and center. In 2005 he started all 12 games at center and became a steadying force on an experienced line.

17. Kyle Cook - 6035, 209, 5.29, Michigan St.

Kyle is a smart football player with good instincts and is versatile having played both guard and center. Technically sound and knows how to position himself. He is very strong, tough and stout at the point of attack. Has a lot of experience against top competition. Was a three-year starter. Great motor.

Needs to bulk up. Is not a top run blocker. Won't physically dominate his opponent. Mobility and quickness are lacking. Is not overly athletic. Doesn't have great feet. Not real agile. Upside could be limited at the next level.

A classic overachiever who gets the absolute most out of his talent thanks to top-notch intangibles. He is the type who will most likely never be a starter in the pros but could be a backup. A possible late round find


18. Mark Bihl - 6050, 299, 5.15, Michigan (OG/OC)

2006 Rimington Trophy Finalist who anchored the Wolverine in 20 career starts. Snaps ball quickly and gets to assignment instantanously. Always looking for someone to block. Hits the next level hard and is a great downfield blocker. Experienced.

Not a tremendous athlete. Has had issues with covering better prospects. Stiff, can be out of position on plays.

While he won't fit every scheme, he is a tough nosed player who understands the position. A team who runs a zone blocking scheme would be the best situation for Mark. A late day pick who might start down the road.

19. Mike Elgin - 6040, 277, 5.15, Iowa

In the mold and the mentality of your prototypical Iowa lineman. Has played a number of different positions at Iowa including center in 2004 and guard in 2005 and 2006.

Has a great cognition of the line and has played all spots on the interior line. Has a lunch-pail mentality and is always looking to rip the defender's head off. Smart, was an Academic All-American in his tenure as a Hawkeye.

Isn't extremely athletic. Does not have the bulk you would like to see for interior lineman. Will get outmatched at the next level. Might not have what the NFL is looking for.

Anthony Wollschlager - 6040, 281, 5.20, Miami (Fl)
Aaron Danenhauer - 6-5, 302, 5.17, Tulsa
Jamar Foulks - 6027, 340, 5.25, Mansfield
Cedric Gagne-Marcoux - 6-2, 295, Central Florida
Alex Miller - 6-2, 300, 5.30, Massachusetts
Cody Morris - 6028, 291, 5.25, William and Mary
David Ochoa - 6-4, 285, Kansas
Donald Usry - 6025, 310, 5.40, Southeastern La.
Uche Nwaneri - 6-3, 325, 5.37, Purdue (OG/OC)
Brent Pousson, McNeese State
Christian Gaddis, Villanova
Steve Vallos, Wake Forest
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Old 04-19-2007, 08:19 AM   #4
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Kalil is my favorite OL in this draft. He can provide depth at both C and G. He's going to be a good player in this league.
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Old 04-19-2007, 01:31 PM   #5
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While watching the combine on NFLnetwork, I remember watching the OL and deciding to focus on the non top 2 or 3 that the announcers were fawning over. Satele quickly became a favorite of mine. Quick feet, solid base, good punch off the snap. I'm interested to see where he'll go. I predict late 2nd or early 3rd round for him. Think he'll play in the league for a long time.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:51 PM   #6
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I agree with you papz, I know picking Kalil at 27 might be a strecth, but he is gonna be solid and i wouldnt be disappointed if we went that way. I'd much rather go the way of Kalil than Olsen.
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by numpster View Post
While watching the combine on NFLnetwork, I remember watching the OL and deciding to focus on the non top 2 or 3 that the announcers were fawning over. Satele quickly became a favorite of mine. Quick feet, solid base, good punch off the snap. I'm interested to see where he'll go. I predict late 2nd or early 3rd round for him. Think he'll play in the league for a long time.
He is a nice prospect. I like him.
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