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Coaches Corner: 2022 NFL Draft/Top 5 Centers

By Michael Stewart @TheTruthNYG

This will be part 5 in a series of 13 as we examine the center position in the upcoming draft. Nick Gates suffered a serious leg injury and Billy Price is more than likely not returning in 2022. 

It wouldn’t be a bad idea to draft a young talented center to groom and/or replace either one of the two mentioned.  Here is my top 5 centers in 2022 NFL draft.

  • Tyler Linderbaum (Iown) 6’3/290: Often times an OL is not referred to as an athlete, but Linderbaum certainly defines that and more. Linderbaum was a multi-sport athlete in high school and he uses many of those attributes on the football field. There’s a big gap (talent wise) between Linderbaum (projected top 12) and the next center in the upcoming draft projected to be selected in round 3.
  • Dohnovan West (Arizona State) 6’4/300: West has improved his overall game for the Sun Devils, but there’s still more room to grow for him to succeed in the NFL. West needs to improve on his footwork and hand placement and also get stronger at the point of attack.
  • Alec Lindstrom (Boston College) 6’3/298: Lindstrom plays with an edge and never quits on a play. Lindstrom has solid technique which helps him against bigger defensive linemen.
  • Michael Maietti (Missouri) 6’1/290: Maietti is considered a bit undersized by NFL standard, but he makes up for this with excellent hand placement and solid footwork. Maietti also displays quickness off the snap and allows him leverage at the point of attack.
  • James Empey (BYU) 6’4/303: Empey is extremely athletic for his size and is quick off the snap. Empey is a solid open field blocker as well as in the trenches and plays until the whistle.
  • Chris Owens (Alabama) 5’3/305: Owens has played nearly every position on the offensive line, but many scouts project him to more to his more natural position (center) in the NFL. Owens Has a strong base and utilizes it well by staying low to the ground which enables him to be a better run blocker than pass protector.

The Giants could very well be in the market for a center in free agency as well, so it’s unclear if they will consider a center in the early rounds or in the draft at all. However, if they do pass on center in free agency, Tyler Linderbaum is clearly the best center in the country in a fairly weak a center class.