2017 NFL Draft – Top Centers

Offense: QB | WR | RB | FB | TE | OT | OG | C

Defense: DT | DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S

Note: These are ordered in regards to general overall rating.  This is not necessarily a reflection of predictive draft order as other variables such as scheme, coaching, etc. will alter each team’s rating of each prospect.

  1. Ethan Pocic, LSU – Tall center, but shows excellent leverage and bend for his height. Excellent awareness and intelligence in pass coverage, with a ton of experience and knowledge. With centers getting bigger and taller due to more shotgun and big and stronger defensive tackles to cope with, the big tall center is a coveted position.
  2. Pat Elflein, Ohio State – Checks off all of the boxes with awareness, intelligence, effort, experience. Has played all three interior position and has an exceptional understanding of the game and his responsibilities. Good size, but can be manhandled by elite defensive lineman. Will be perfectly suited for a zone blocking scheme in the NFL.
  3. Jon Toth, Kentucky – Not long ago, his height and length would have not allowed him to play center, but with the evolution of the passing game, specifically an increase in use of the shotgun puts him inline with what many teams are looking for at the position. Built more like a tackle, with some experience playing there, he has been a reliable and shows excellent technique at the position. Not a fit for every team, but in an offense where a center needs to disengage and get to the next level, he has the build, athleticism, and experience to start right away.
  4. Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia – Prototypical build and mentality for a center asked to make all the line calls and maintain as the anchor of the offensive line. Excellent initial punch and stays disciplined in his technique. Good footwork, and can improve as he works on his bend. Works best in a confined area where he can use his intelligence and technique.
  5. Kyle Fuller, Baylor – Caught in a program in flux, and anchoring an offensive line of substantially less talented and less experienced players, he showed poise and promise as a player at the next level.  Strong initial push and able to hold up in the passing game, he has the core strength, shows good footwork, but will need some time learning more pro style techniques.

Comments: Ethan Pocic and Pat Elflein are the two prospects that stand out on tape, and they are the two that are being most talked about.  This grouping will become much more clear after the combine.