Welcome to the fifth installment of a series that is meant to bring awareness to some players the Colts should be looking at in the upcoming draft.
So far, we have gone over wide receivers, inside linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks. After three straight offensive positions, it’s time to look at the offensive side of the ball – particularly center.
The Colts have been shaky at this position ever since Jeff Saturday left. In a move that caused a roar of joy from all of Indianapolis, the Colts cut Samson Satele. Satele had been the team’s center, but he wasn’t very good and he took too big of a cap hit for a player of his production. The move ensures the Colts will be searching for a new center in either free agency or the draft.
Unfortunately, the center position isn’t deep in this draft. In fact, CBS Sports has only 11 centers that are projected to be drafted. The two top centers are projected to go in the first two rounds, and it’s hard to see the Colts reaching for a center that early. That makes their pool of promising centers to draft even smaller. It would probably be easier for the team to search for a new center through free agency, but here are some players they could draft in the upcoming draft.
Disclaimer: I did not create, nor do I own the highlight videos. I simply tried to find the best video to showcase the skills of these young players. If the selected music is not to your taste, I suggest muting the video and playing some of your own music. Also, finding highlight videos of centers isn’t as easy compared to finding them for wide receivers. Some of these will be highlights from just one game, but hopefully you can get the feel for the player from the game.
Bryan Stork – Florida State
-Weight: 315 lbs
-CBS Sports rankings: 4th center, 140th – overall
-Draft projection: 4th-5th round
Stork was the leader on the offensive line for a championship team. Stork is quick off the ball which allows him imitate blocks quickly as well as seal off defenders. His quickness off the ball also allows him to pick up blitzes as they come. Scouts believe Stork needs to work on his lower body strength, because right now he relies too much on his upper body which causes him to struggle at times. Here is his highlight video:
Tyler Larsen – Utah State
-Weight: 313 lbs
-CBS Sports rankings: 5th center, 177th – overall
-Draft projection: 5th-6th round
Larsen has all the qualities that make him an effective run blocker: quick off the ball and can seal off defenders. However, Larsen is also proficient in other areas such as second-level blocking and pass protection. Larsen has good speed for a lineman that allows him to get out downfield and block when a play lasts long. He also has the lateral ability to be a great pass protector. The biggest flaw on Larsen has been his short arms. Because of his arms, Larsen is vulnerable to letting defenders rip free of him. Here is a video of all the offensive snaps in a game of his from this past season:
Corey Linsley – Ohio State
-Weight: 296 lbs
-CBS Sports rankings: 6th center, 224th – overall
-Draft projection: 6th-7th round
Linsley is a strong run blocker at the line and can always get out in the second level as he has great awareness and strong quickness. Linsley has fantastic form that makes him hard to move off of his position and also allows him to move laterally in a fluid manner for pass protection. The downside on Linsley is that he doesn’t have the best size which correlates to him not having the best strength. Linsley can sometimes be overpowered and lose control of a blocker. Here are the offensive snaps from a game he was in during the 2012 season: