2013 NFL Combine - Center Analysis
Wisconsin C Travis Frederick
Wisconsin C Travis Frederick
Posted Feb 21, 2013

Pre-Combine quick looks at the centers invited to Indy.

2013 NFL Pre-Combine

Center Rankings

Follow Us ... @ColFootballNews 
1. Travis Frederick, Wisconsin 6-4, 335 (Jr.) Proj. 2
Positives: A very big, very strong run blocker who flattens his man. Put him in a phone booth and big things will happen. … A reliable, sound all-around center who can also move to guard if needed. He doesn't need much strength work mostly because his technique is sound; he drives off the ball in a hurry and gets good leverage. … Never gets pushed around. You can't get him off his base.

Negatives: Mediocre feet and athleticism. Just okay in pass protection, he grabs a bit and has problems with the speedier linemen. … Nothing special on the move. He won't fire out too often to spring a big play. He needs to lock up inside and blast away. … Good on calling out the blitz, but there are better in this draft in terms of seeing what's happening.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? An elite starter at either guard or center.

2. Khaled Holmes, USC 6-3, 305 Proj. 3
Positives: A terrific talent who's ready now. He was one of the big keys to the line last year. Things started to fall apart when he got hurt. … A tone-setting blocker who blasts away in the interior. Never takes a play off and always finishes his block. … A strong leader with the smarts and savvy to be the main man up front. He's a true center and knows how to handle a line.

Negatives: Injuries are not slightly a problem. He didn't have too many problems last year, but he was banged up enough to make durability an issue. … Technique needs tweaking. He gets the job done, but it's not always pretty. Lunges a bit much. … Some teams might think he can work at guard after seeing a little time in college, but he's a center.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? A ten-year starter in the middle.

3. Barrett Jones, Alabama 6-4, 305 (OG) Proj. 2
Positives: The consummate leader, he was the main man behind a dominant line. It's not crazy to suggest that he was the least talented player up front last season, even though he was an All-American and former Outland winner, but he was still the centerpiece. … Versatile. Was a star at tackle, kicked inside to center, and now could end up at guard. … A good-sound blocker with good strength and size. Held his own week after week against the top SEC defensive tackles.

Negatives: Yes, he was great, but he was also surrounded by superior talents. He didn't have to provide too much help. … Not quick enough. He was terrific at tackle in college, but he's not a good enough athlete to rely on his feet against the better pro linemen who can get off the ball in a hurry. … Plays through pain, but he got banged around. Did he peak in college? There's a school of thought that he maxed out in college.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He'll be a good pro, but not a special one. He'll start somewhere in the interior for a long, long time, but he's too limited to play up to his legendary college status.

4. Brian Schwenke, California 6-4, 300 Proj. 3
Positives: Moves really, really well. One of the more athletic centers in the draft. Can fire out in a hurry. … Nice technician. Doesn't need much work or fine-tuning. He's smooth and consistent. … A veteran who saw time at guard. He can move around if needed without a problem.

Negatives: Doesn't really look the part. He's big, but doesn't quite have the right frame to be a guard. … Not going to blast anyone. Strictly a zone-blocking scheme center. … Already hit his ceiling. He's not going to get much bigger and won't make vast improvements.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? An out-of-the-box ready center who can get the job done.

5. Mario Benavides, Louisville 6-3, 280 Proj. 6
Positives: Quick. Gets off the ball in a hurry and is great at making things happen on the move. … Smart. A great technician who always seems to get the job done. He does everything right. … Tough and tenacious. He gets after the block and attacks well. Fires off the ball in a hurry and with an attitude.

Negatives: Never healthy. Always banged up and bruised to the point of his durability being a major red flag. … Just not big enough. He's going to have to really, really work to get closer to 300 pounds. … Raw strength is going to be a slight problem. It goes hand in hand with his size. He's not going to be for every offense.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? A starter if he can get to at least 290 and be in a zone-blocking scheme.

6. T.J. Johnson, South Carolina 6-4, 323 Proj. 5
Positives: Really, really big. He can move to guard without a problem and become a blaster of a run blocker. … Good body for his size. He doesn't need to hit the weights or get any bigger. … A quarterback for the line. Smart with great vision.

Negatives: Iffy in pass protection. He gets by on size but doesn't move well enough. … Decent feet, but not great. He's never going to be the better athlete compared to NFL defensive tackles. … Mistakes come from a lack of athleticism. Has to lunge and grab a bit too often.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He'll make a roster because of his size as a swing player for the interior.

7. Dalton Freeman, Clemson 6-4, 286 Proj. FREE AGENT
Positives: Smart. He doesn't make mistakes and is a terrific quarterback for the line. … A good technician. He does all the little things right and is rock-solid sound in what he needs to do. Doesn't need a lot of coaching. … Makes up for a lot of problems by just doing things right. He's simply a good center.

Negatives: It's all there except for the raw ability to play at the next level. He's just not strong enough or powerful enough to be a to NFL blocker. … Any mistakes come from not being a good enough athlete and having to make up for it. … Can be beaten by the quicker defensive tackles. Has to be better off the ball.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? Coaches are going to want him to succeed, and he's going to get every shot. He'll be on a roster as a sound backup.

8. Graham Pocic, Illinois 6-5, 310 Proj. 5
Positives: Tough to get around. A huge, long center who takes up a lot of space with his frame. … Moves well straight forward. Good at getting down the field going straight-line. … Has a nice nasty streak. He'll get after it and won't back down.

Negatives: Way too tall for the position. He's built like a tackle. He has to labor a bit and work to get proper leverage. … Not quick enough off the ball. Can be beaten by a quick-twitch defensive tackle. … Uses his reach a bit too much. Relies on his frame at times rather than his feet.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He's a smart enough player to be a good backup for several positions. He'll always be ready as a fill-in.

9. P.J. Lonergan, LSU 6-4, 305 Proj. 7
Positives: Beats people up. He's a strong blocker for the ground game and gets into his man on short plays. … Tough guy. He has the right attitude and brings the fire to the line. He sets the tone and is a good quarterback up front. It's his line. … Attacks. He's great at helping out and bails out the guards well. He goes after anyone in his area.

Negatives: Doesn't really have the right body. He needs to add more good, strong weight and get a bit tighter. … Misses a bit too much being overaggressive. He'll go for the dominant play when the adequate one will do. … Not quite strong enough in pass protection. Fine, but not a rock.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? The problem is that his best attribute is attitude and leadership. He's not necessarily a starting center, and he won't be the leader as a backup.

10. Joe Madsen, West Virginia 6-4, 300 Proj. FREE AGENT
Positives: Built for the spread offense. Great at popping up quickly out of the shotgun. Solid on the snap. … Does a great job on the line calls. A solid veteran who knows all the ins and outs. He has seen it all. … Good technique. Good in pass protection and rarely gets beaten.

Negatives: Not physical enough. He's not soft, but he's not going to destroy his man in the running game. … Not quite quick and athletic enough. Doesn't move as well as he needs to considering his issues with the power game. … A few commitment questions after missing time being declared academically ineligible before the bowl game.

Really, What's He Going To Do In The NFL? He'll bounce around serving as a backup.

11. James Ferentz, Iowa 6-1, 289 Proj. FREE AGENT
12. Matt Stankiewitch, Penn State 6-3, 303 Proj. FREE AGENT
13. Drew Schaefer, Washington 6-4, 295 Proj. FREE AGENT
14. Sam Schwartzstein, Stanford 6-3, 295 Proj. FREE AGENT
15. Drew Schaefer, Washington 6-4, 292 Proj. FREE AGENT