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Old 03-06-2008   #1
keyser
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Default Drafting a Center

I get the impression that I'm in the minority here, but I view one of our major needs as Center. I think we saw a lot of problems last year once McKinney went down. Even though he should return, who knows whether he'll still be effective, and he's clearly not a long-term solution for us. Our other options at Center are unproven at best (though I know some people have high hopes for them).

From what I can tell, the two top centers in this draft, Pollak and Justice, would both be good fits for us. It looks like Pollak is probably a mid (maybe early) 2nd round pick, and Justice is a late 2nd round pick (though I have seen mocks that had him slip to the third, just a few picks before us). Pollak has risen a bit, but Justice seems to have slipped a lot - I saw several people who had him almost in the first round early on. I'm not really sure why Justice has been slipping, but everything I've read seems to indicate he'd be a great fit in a ZBS. I think both of these guys could go on to become long-term anchors in the OL wherever they go.

What do others think about taking one of these guys, if the opportunity presents itself? For example, say we traded down and picked up a 2nd, or say we got a mid-2nd via a player trade? Personally, I'd take either of them before anyone else expected to be around those ranges, with the possible exception of Collins. For that matter, I'd be willing to trade up from the third (e.g. by giving up as much as next year's third round pick) to grab one of them (probably Justice). If Justice slipped into the third round, we might not even have to give up that much - just, say, a 5th to move up a few slots to get him. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-06-2008   #2
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

Drafting Center in the 1st is usually a huge reach. You can easily land first round talent in the 3rd or 4th, because most teams are set at the position (look at where Satele and Kalil went last year)
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Old 03-06-2008   #3
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

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Originally Posted by keyser View Post
I get the impression that I'm in the minority here, but I view one of our major needs as Center. I think we saw a lot of problems last year once McKinney went down. Even though he should return, who knows whether he'll still be effective, and he's clearly not a long-term solution for us. Our other options at Center are unproven at best (though I know some people have high hopes for them).
Actually this has been discussed and most would say that Center is a need. But with all the needs the team has youhave to prioratize. I think that is one reason the team is trying to go after Center FA, like Hadnot and Wade.
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Old 03-06-2008   #4
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

I really like Pollack, maybe somehow he is still available in the 3rd or the Texans are able to trade down/out of the first & add a 2nd rd. pick. as mentioned depends on how successful they are in FA. I would not be going into next season as is.
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Old 03-06-2008   #5
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

The Center position is in flux for the Texans right now, but I think that it is being handled through Free Agency this year. I think the addition of Stevenson, Okobi, and Eslinger along with talking to Wade (TB Center) and Hadnot means that they probably aren't eyeing anybody in the top of the draft at C.

I've liked Justice this year as a C, but I don't think he's going to slip past the 3rd, and I don't think the Texans will use their 3rd on him even if he's there. If he's in the 4th or the 5th then we've got something to talk about. Pollack seems to have risen lately and I wonder if he's even on the Smithiak radar.

Now there's two guys coming out next year that I think will warrant a heavy look into. That'd be Alex Mack from Cal and Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas. Both guys have anchored a solid running game, and both have plenty of game film to view and discuss.

But, I think the only way we get a Center in this draft is if Justice or Pollack fall quite a bit (We're talking slipping multiple rounds here).
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Old 03-06-2008   #6
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

When McKinney and then White went down I was all for drafting a Center. Then in December we picked up Eslinger and after that they signed Okobe (sp?). This has made me feel alot better about that position, and the Texans must have felt better too because they released Flanagan and Hodgdon. I think they're sure McKinney will be back at 100% by TC, and between him, Eslinger, and Okobe they will be alright at that position. White was injured late in the season so I don't think he will be in the mix. If they do pick up Hadnot or Wade it should just add to the competition.

So, in short, no I don't think the Texans will draft a Center unless it's in the later rounds, and probably not at all if they sign Hadnot. JMHO!
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Old 03-07-2008   #7
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

Eslinger and Okobi were both signed as free agents after not being able to make the active roster on their own teams. It'll be great if they work out, but it's really a stretch to count on them being more than backups. Is it clear that McKinney will be back at 100% (I'm serious - I haven't heard an update)? Regardless, I'd have a tough time counting on him for a year. White is also unproven and trying to come back from injury. Just the fact that they've been pursuing more Center alternatives (like Hadnot) tells me they're not satisfied with what we have.

We've got plenty of projects/long-shots, so I don't see a reason for the Texans to specifically target a Center in later rounds. But both Pollak and Justice could solve the Center position long-term. I'd certainly spend a 3rd to do that, and personally I'd spend more (I wasn't ever suggesting a 1st, just a 2nd or trade up from the 3rd). I agree about prioritizing - to me I'd put Center right after LT (and even ahead of CB and RB) on positions we need to upgrade.
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Old 03-07-2008   #8
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

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Originally Posted by b0ng View Post
Pollack seems to have risen lately and I wonder if he's even on the Smithiak radar. I think the only way we get a Center in this draft is if Justice or Pollack fall quite a bit (We're talking slipping multiple rounds here).
Justice might because he is alot like Eslinger, both lack the bulk to holdup & the point, this leads to injurys & holes in protection. Pollack is more NFL ready, maintains a good solid base & push, hand placement locked with enough strength to steer man aside to designated zone. he would be a solid, very solid pick for the Texans & as we've seen Centers are worth at least 3rd rd.
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Old 03-07-2008   #9
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

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Originally Posted by keyser View Post
Eslinger and Okobi were both signed as free agents after not being able to make the active roster on their own teams. It'll be great if they work out, but it's really a stretch to count on them being more than backups. Is it clear that McKinney will be back at 100% (I'm serious - I haven't heard an update)? Regardless, I'd have a tough time counting on him for a year. White is also unproven and trying to come back from injury. Just the fact that they've been pursuing more Center alternatives (like Hadnot) tells me they're not satisfied with what we have.

We've got plenty of projects/long-shots, so I don't see a reason for the Texans to specifically target a Center in later rounds. But both Pollak and Justice could solve the Center position long-term. I'd certainly spend a 3rd to do that, and personally I'd spend more (I wasn't ever suggesting a 1st, just a 2nd or trade up from the 3rd). I agree about prioritizing - to me I'd put Center right after LT (and even ahead of CB and RB) on positions we need to upgrade.
Brisiel wasn't able to break into the active roster until an injury to Weary. Eslinger was drafted by Denver 2 years ago and they have been grooming him to take Tom Nalen's spot at Center. Unfortunately for them, Cleveland came along and "snatched" him off their PS late November last year. They cut him lose in December and the Texans jumped on him. He is perfect for the ZB system (thus the reason Denver drafted him) and won the Outland and Rimington trophies in college. Just saying don't be surprised if he ends up being our starting Center. I definately think he will be right there in the mix. JMHO!
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Old 03-07-2008   #10
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

what about that velasco guy as a late day 2 pick?
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Old 03-07-2008   #11
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

I do not think center will be addressed in draft. If the right guy and deal coe along in FA we could see a pick up.
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Old 03-07-2008   #12
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

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I do not think center will be addressed in draft.
of course not
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If the right guy and deal coe along in FA we could see a pick up.
but we Hadnot signed him yet
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Old 03-07-2008   #13
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

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Originally Posted by Insideop View Post
Brisiel wasn't able to break into the active roster until an injury to Weary. Eslinger was drafted by Denver 2 years ago and they have been grooming him to take Tom Nalen's spot at Center. Unfortunately for them, Cleveland came along and "snatched" him off their PS late November last year. They cut him lose in December and the Texans jumped on him. He is perfect for the ZB system (thus the reason Denver drafted him) and won the Outland and Rimington trophies in college. Just saying don't be surprised if he ends up being our starting Center. I definately think he will be right there in the mix. JMHO!
Impressive.

Or, at least it sounds very promising and we haven't been able to say that about our O-line to many times.
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Old 03-07-2008   #14
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

I watched Eslinger play in College @ Minnesota, mostly because of their RB (Laurence Maroney) he opened lanes for, showed hustle, quickness, driving into the 2nd level etc., but in the NFL he looked like a shrimp about ready to be eaten by the massive interior tackles. the warnings that he lacked text book size & strength came true. Maybe Gibbs CAN work miracles or at least in Gregs case extend his career to NFL Sundays, but only as a back-up plan until proven otherwise on the field.
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Old 03-07-2008   #15
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

http://www.sportspool.com/football/draft/612.phpHis speed and feet may be just what Gibbs wants. Eslinger could probably add 10 lbs if needed.
http://insider.espn.go.com/nfldraft/draft/tracker/player?id=9822&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f %2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnfldraft%2fdraft%2ftracke r%2fplayer%3fid%3d9822
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Old 03-07-2008   #16
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

Just found this 2007 report on Eslinger. I enjoyed & hope you do.http://www.bismarcktribune.com/artic...cal/143462.txt
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Old 03-07-2008   #17
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Default Re: Drafting a Center

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Originally Posted by beerlover View Post
I watched Eslinger play in College @ Minnesota, mostly because of their RB (Laurence Maroney) he opened lanes for, showed hustle, quickness, driving into the 2nd level etc., but in the NFL he looked like a shrimp about ready to be eaten by the massive interior tackles. the warnings that he lacked text book size & strength came true. Maybe Gibbs CAN work miracles or at least in Gregs case extend his career to NFL Sundays, but only as a back-up plan until proven otherwise on the field.
Just to piggyback, Minnesota ran the ZBS and Maroney and Barber both ran behind him.
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