2012 NFL Draft - The Centers
Wisconsin C Peter Konz
Wisconsin C Peter Konz
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 18, 2012


From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top center prospects.

2012 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Centers


By Pete Fiutak 

2012 NFL DRAFT
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Centers
- Offensive Tackles
- Offensive Guards
- Defensive Tackles
- Inside LBs
- Outside LBs
- Cornerbacks
- Safeties

2011 NFL DRAFT

2011 NFL Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs
- TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs
- CBs | Ss

2011 NFL Post-Combine Draft Rankings
- Top 32 Talents
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders & Top Free Agents  

THE 2010 NFL DRAFT


2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs
This Class Is … Good. Centers are never going to be glamour picks, but there are several nice starting prospects and a possible perennial Pro Bowler in Peter Konz. There’s good size across the board and several decent options, but all that matters is what’s on top, and Konz, Ben Jones, David Molk and Michael Brewster can all step in and anchor a line right away.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … William Vlachos, Alabama
Most Underrated … Mason Cloy, Clemson
Most Overrated … Jason Slowey, Western Oregon
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … D.J. Hall, Texas State-San Marcos

1. Peter Konz, Wisconsin (Jr.) 6-3, 315
The prototype run blocking center, he has tremendous size as a big blaster for the middle. Smart and dominant whenever he was on the field, he didn’t make mistakes and was a terrific leader for one of college football’s best lines over the last few seasons. A ten-year anchor, he has Pro Bowl skills with the talent and mental makeup to be thrown to the wolves right away. But can he stay healthy? He suffered an ankle injury last year, and it might be a bit telling that the Badger O line didn’t skip a beat when he was out. Not a great athlete, he’s not going to do much on the move and his 18 reps on the bench at the Combine were disappointing, but with a little more weight room work he has all the talent and all the ability to be a rock.
CFN Projection: First Round

2. Ben Jones, Georgia 6-3, 303
A versatile leader who did a great job with an always changing and always banged up Georgia O line, he could move to guard in a pinch but has a nice future in the middle. A mauler, he beats people up and is great for the power running game, but he’s not necessarily the type of blocker who’ll blast his man off the ball. His strength is making the right line calls and sniffing out what’s coming; he’s a true quarterback for the line. There’s little quickness or athleticism to his game, and he can be beaten off the ball by an explosive defensive tackle, but he’s an NFL center who can handle himself well right away and be a mainstay.
CFN Projection: Third Round

3. David Molk, Michigan 6-1, 298
Undersized, he makes up for his lack of height and bulk by battling hard and being really, really strong with 41 reps on the bench at the Combine. A terrific leader and fighter, he’s smart, tough, and as dependable as they come. But can he hold up? He’s not going to be bulky enough like some teams might want, and he doesn’t blast away on the interior working more as a shoving blocker. Quick, he gets off the ball in a hurry and succeeds by being three steps ahead of the guy in front of him. He’s not for everyone and has to be in a scheme where all he has to do is wall off his man, but he’s a good football player who’d be a sure-thing first rounder if he was 6-3 and 315.
CFN Projection: Third Round

4. Michael Brewster, Ohio State 6-4, 312
Potentially a guard, he can work in a variety of ways and could be a strong starter no matter where he plays. A great leader, he’s a great quarterback and smart to sniff out the blitz from ten miles away. Very big and with a great heart, he was a superstar recruit for the Buckeyes and lived up to the billing as a great run blocker and a ton of experience. However, he’s limited as a pro prospect with mediocre athleticism and he isn’t a destroyer like he should be for a player of his size; there’s no real upside. He’ll make up for his deficiencies with hard work and fight. A coaching staff will love him and won’t have any problems making him the leader up front.
CFN Projection: Third Round

5. William Vlachos, Alabama 6-0, 306
A bowling ball of a blocker, he’s great at getting the leverage needed to generate a push and he’s great at holding up against bigger defenders. Quick, he gets to his man in a hurry and he’s always getting the advantage before the defender can make a move. Smart and tough, he doesn’t make mistakes and he holds up well. While he’s a great football player, he’s not a top prospect because he doesn’t have the tools. He’s too short, too squatty, and he doesn’t have any room to get any bigger. Making matters worse, he can’t be a guard and is just a center. There’s starting potential, but he won’t be a star.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

6. Phillip Blake, Baylor 6-2, 312
Tremendously steady, he was a key part of an explosive Baylor offense as the leader of the strong line. While he’s big and versatile, with the ability to move to guard if needed, he’s also quick and is great at making things happen on the move. Looks-wise, he’s what an NFL coaching staff wants with the bulk and the strength – few prospects in the draft have his base strength. Even so, he doesn’t use his tools to be a blaster of a run blocker and spent his career in a finesse attack and he didn’t have to do much with any power. Valuable as a key reserve, he’ll find a job, but he needs to be in a zone-blocking scheme or a passing attack to be at his most valuable.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

7. Quentin Saulsberry, Mississippi State 6-3, 304
Part guard and part center, he could end up playing anywhere in the interior. He has a good, strong SEC body with a nice frame that could handle a bit more weight to end up moving to right guard and filling a spot. However, it’ll take some time and a lot of work. Getting stronger is a must and he doesn’t generate enough of a push on a regular basis, but he moves well enough to get by. A good college player, but not elite, he’ll be a functional blocker who’ll be used in a variety of ways as a key reserve.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

8. Mason Cloy, Clemson 6-3, 297
A nice leader for a talented line and a great offense, Cloy was the unsung main man for the Tigers. While he’s not all that big and he has to get functionally stronger, he could move to guard in the right system and could be great in a zone-blocking scheme. Good on the move and great at getting to the second level, he has good potential. However, he’s not a big-time run blocker and might not be more than a good swing player. He’s good at a lot of things, but he’s not elite in any one area.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

9. Moe Petrus, Connecticut 6-2, 299
He’s not big enough and he doesn’t have the frame to get any larger, but he was ultra-productive and came up with a nice career as a good run blocker. Athletic and quick, he moves well and could be a late-round steal for someone looking for a pure zone-blocker – but as a backup. There’s about ten minutes left of shelf life – he’s already 26 going into the season – and there’s no chance he can move to guard, but he’s a mature leader who could find a home as a solid reserve center.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

10. Garth Gerhart, Arizona State 6-1, 305
With decent size and body to get good leverage and get under the pads, he seems like he’d be a decent fit for the right offense, but he’s not a blaster of a run blocker and he doesn’t kill his guy. Good in pass protection, he’d be fine in a finesse scheme and he’s not going to make any mistakes. There’s no chance he’ll turn into a guard and he doesn’t have any top-shelf tools to make him a must-have to keep as a reserve, but he’s smart, is a good guy, and he’ll do all the dirty work. The heart is there, but the talent and tools aren’t.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

11. David Snow, Texas (OG) Proj. FA
12. Tyler Horn, Miami Proj. FA
13. Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois Proj. FA
14. Mark Spinney, Boston College Proj. FA
15. Cam Holland, North Carolina Proj. FA
16. Rodney Austin, Elon Proj. FA
17. Grant Johnson, Oregon State Proj. FA
18. Anthony Mihota, Virginia Proj. FA
19. Mike Caputo, Nebraska Proj. FA
20. Jeremiah Hatch, Kansas Proj. FA