Saturday, January 29, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Prospects - Guards & Centers

1 – Rodney Hudson (G, FSU)
2 – Stefen Wisniewski (C, Penn State)
3 – Mike Pouncey (G, Florida)
4 – Marcus Cannon (G/T, TCU)
5 – John Moffitt (G, Wisconsin)
6 – Danny Watkins (G/T, Baylor)
7 – Will Rackley (G, Lehigh)
8 – Orlando Franklin (G/T, Miami)
9 – Clint Boling (G, Georgia)
10 – Jake Kirkpatrick (C, TCU)
11 – Lee Ziemba (G/T, Auburn)
12 – Tim Barnes (C, Missouri)
13 – Stephen Schilling (G, Michigan)
14 – Kristofer O’Dowd (C, USC)
15 – Justin Boren (G, Ohio State)
16 – Bryant Browning (G, Ohio State)

Hudson is one of the most skilled and experienced linemen in this draft, and I love his future in the right scheme (big emphasis on that last part). He’s a true leader and will take that with him to the pros. His one weakness is a lack of ideal size for the guard position, but he’s used a combination of intelligence, flawless technique, agility, and positioning to consistently get the better of bigger defenders throughout his Nole career.....Speaking of intelligence and agility, Wisniewski is clearly the top center in this class. He’s very technical, mixes quickness and balanced blocking, and handles line calls really well. The only drawback I saw is that he’s not overpowering, but you still don’t see him get out muscled often.....Pouncey has guard and center experience but is likely to spend most of his time at guard in the pros. He’s a plus run blocker with a lot of strength but will need to improve his technique and consistency as a pass blocker.....I’ve got Cannon at guard even though he was a tackle at TCU. He’s huge (6-6, 350) and has really smooth footwork for a guy his size. Despite the footwork, the fact that he’s so big leads to him giving up the edge to twitchy/speed rushers. He looks a lot better moving forward than receiving a blocker. That combined with his strength/power in the run game leads me to believe he might be best off by moving inside to guard.....I expect the Bucs to make a couple of moves on the interior this offseason with one of them being the release of Jeff Faine. Davin Joseph is a free agent, and I’m not holding my breath that the Bucs will get into a bidding war despite Joseph being their best lineman. Of these guards, I’d most prefer Moffitt. He’s a mauling drive blocker who would give the Bucs run game a big boost, especially if the similarly physical Joseph doesn’t return. Moffitt also has center versatility; another area in which the Bucs are a bit unsettled.

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