NFL Draft Guard, Center Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective

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NFL Draft Guard, Center Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective

2021 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Guard, Center Rankings 2021: From The College Perspective


Who are the guards and centers who’ll matter in the 2021 NFL Draft, and what’s the college perspective on all of the top prospects?

2021 NFL Draft Guard, Center Rankings

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Infrastructure can be sexy.

It’s a really, really good draft for the interior line. The guard prospects are good, the centers are excellent, and there are more than enough to go around for the teams that need an instant fix for the front five.

From the college perspective, here are the top guards and centers – interior linemen – in the 2021 NFL Draft, starting with the good value picks likely to go late on Day 2 to early Day 3, and then into the stars in the top five.

16. Royce Newman, Ole Miss (OG)

Size: 6-5, 310

The Good: Versatile enough to play almost anywhere on the line, he’s not going to blast over anyone, but he could see time at tackle and be solid in a fast-paced offense that gets him on the move.

The Not-So-Good: He’s a little smallish. He’s not going to blast away on anyone and he’s not a sure-thing guard for a power attack. A true tweener, he’s got the ability to play any of four spots in a pinch, but he’s not any sort of long term answer at tackle.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: It took a little while for him to grow into his upside, but now he’s got the experience and the movement to be a nice value blocker for the interior. At worst. he’s a jack-of-all-trades backup.

Projected Round: Fifth Round

15. Michal Menet, Penn State (C)

Size: 6-4, 301

The Good: A good-sized hitter who could work at guard if needed but is more of a center. While he won’t be for everyone, he’s a power blocker who won’t have too much of a problem with the stronger tackles. As dependable as they come, he was a rock for the Nittany Lions for a long time.

The Not-So-Good: Don’t expect him to move too much. He’s a phone booth guy who can handle himself well as a tough guy for the ground game, but he’s not a top athlete and has to be surrounded by guards with good feet.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He’s going to be worth the late round flier as a rock of a blocker who could be a nice value for the interior. He plays through everything, he’s tough enough be a problem in practices, and he’ll be a tough cut who could rise up and take over a starting gig early.

Projected Round: Fifth Round

14. Larry Borom, Missouri (OG/OT)

Size: 6-5, 322

The Good: There’s a chance he could find a gig at right tackle if he doesn’t live at guard. He’s got the bulk for the interior and just enough athleticism to move to the outside, and he’s got an interesting game with good power who might still be improving depending on his position.

The Not-So-Good: He’s not really an NFL tackle. He’ll be tested out on the outside, but he wins a job by showing he’s able to blast away as a guard. There isn’t quite enough athleticism to be for everyone, especially as a tweener.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He’ll be an interesting late round call for someone. Don’t expect much in pass protection, and he’ll have issues with elite quickness, but he’s a big, thick blocker with enough versatility to matter.

Projected Round: Fifth Round

13. Ben Cleveland, Georgia (OG)

Size: 6-6, 343

The Good: Very big and very good for the ground game, he’s got the NFL size. No, he’s not a tackle, and no, he’s not going to move well, but if you want a large guy who can generate a push and is tough to get around, here you go. He’s not going to get moved, but …

The Not-So-Good: He’s not going to move. He’s not a tackle in any way, and he might be a right guard only without the mobility to handle any semblance of NFL quickness. Sort of a one-trick blocker, you know what you’re getting.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: He can be a rock of a run blocker on an NFL O line as long as he’s surrounded by more athletic options. If you need the hard yard, though, he’s your guy to work behind.

Projected Round: Fifth Round

12. Jared Hocker, Texas A&M (OG)

Size: 6-5, 325

The Good: The NFL size, look and experience are all there to fit in right away on the interior of any line. He’s got the right look and skills of a modern day NFL guard with the power to go along with the length. Put him on the left or right side and there’s no problem.  However …

The Not-So-Good: It would be nice if he could move a little more. He was able to come back from a knee problem, but he’s not going to be great with the elite athletes on an NFL defensive front and can’t be tried out at tackle.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought:A key cog in the Texas A&M offensive ball control system – and star of the underappreciated line – if his legs hold up he’s a good option for any running game and can fit on the inside in just about any offense. He’ll be one of those mid-round guys who seems to hang around the league for a long, long time.

Projected Round: Fourth

11. Kendrick Green, Illinois (OG/C)

Size: 6-2, 305

The Good: The guy can flat-out block. He’s athletic, he can be used anywhere in the interior, and the guy knows how to hit for the running game. He’s not going to flatten anyone, but he’s a people mover with the quickness to do anything you need.

The Not-So-Good: 6-2, 305. He’s just not big enough to be a consistent NFL guard, even if that’s his better position. With his size the goal will be to make him a full-time center. He might have to be team specific – to use a college term, he might be a recruit-to-a-type draft pick.

NFL Draft College Perspective Thought: Welcome to the guy who might be the most intriguing interior line Day 3 pick in the draft. Don’t be shocked if someone falls deeply in love with his skill set and doesn’t care about the size – or he could slip through the cracks and slide and slide and slide. He’ll make a roster no matter when he’s taken.

Projected Round: Fifth

NEXT: 2021 NFL Draft Guard, Center Rankings Top Ten


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