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Old 11-09-2008   #1
mussop
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Default Centers available in the 2009 draft

There are 4 Quality Centers in the upcoming draft IMO.

1.) Alex Mack, California
Height: 6-5. Weight: 316.
Projected 40 Time: 5.13.
Projected Round (2009): 1.

2.) Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas
Height: 6-4. Weight: 314.
Projected 40 Time: 5.21.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

3.) Antoine Caldwell, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 294.
Projected 40 Time: 5.03.
Projected Round (2009): 2-3.

4.) Max Unger, Oregon
Height: 6-5. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2009): 5.


I have watched all but Alex Mac and have formed ssomewhat of an opinion on each.

Ill start with Antione Caldwell, Alabama. Watched the matchup with LSU and paid particular attention to Caldwell. Wasnt overly impressed but not totally his fault. Seemed fairly good at POA but he never really moved out of the Centers pocket. I was hoping to see him move around alittle more. Didnt really get to see him Pullor get to the second level enough to make an accurate judgment on his mobility. Thats something I have been trying to pay more attention to becase of the ZB system. I hope to see him play some more.

If I had to grade him now as a potential Texan I would give him a 6th round grade.

Next up is Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas Dont remember who they wer playing now but was really not impressed with this guy. He seemed to fit the bill as a mobile athletic guy but really was getting killed at the POA. Was really getting drove off the ball. Seems like we already have that problem. If I had to grade him I would say 6th round pick would be good value. I dont see him making a big difference anytime soon.

Next is Max Unger, Oregon. I just watched the Oregon game this weekend. If anyone else watched this I would like to know what you thought of him. I think he is PERFECT!!!! for our ZB system. This dude knocks people on their asses when he pulls. He is a great cut blocker. He gets to the second level really fast and under control and does a really nice job of sealin off lanes. If you think C isa position that is in need of an upgrade you really need towatch this guy. He is really fun to watch. I never thought I would say that about a Center!

He did have one play where he made a costly mistake however. He had a bad snap out of the shotgun that went out of the endzone and cost them a safety. It ws raining though and from what I have read hasnt been a problem before. Anyway Im tempted to grade him a 2nd round pick but thta is just to high of a pick for a center considering all our other needs so Ill give him a third round grade.

Next is Alex Mack, California I havent watched him because from what I have read he is a sure fire first round pick. That is just too high a price considering what else we could get at that stage. I am interested in hearing what people who have seen him have to say about him or any other C that you may think is worthy of watching.
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Old 11-12-2008   #2
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Found this article on 3 of these guys.

http://www.nfl-draft-site.com/2008/0...nfl-draft.html

16 July 2008
Centers for the 2009 NFL Draft
Itís not easy to get excited about centers, itís definitely not a glamorous position, but if you want to win in football you have to run the ball and in order to run the ball you have to have good play at center. After all, the center touches the ball on every play, he must make the critical snap and in modern football he must also be able to hike the ball in a shotgun formation. On top of all that he will likely face either the biggest, baddest defensive tackle or a nimble, fast inside linebacker on every play, or even likely be double teamed. Itís rough and tough on the inside, a lot of stuff goes on in there that we will never see or hear about, a lot of biting, scratching, punching and kicking, just ask the Dallas Cowboysí Andre Gurode, who received 30 stitches when his head (unhelmeted) was stomped on by Albert Haynesworth last season.

So I think Iíve made my point, centers have to be big, strong and tough, but youíre still not impressed are you? After all, if they are so important why arenít they drafted higher? That is true, in the 2008 NFL Draft, the first center wasnít drafted until the second round, Mike Pollack was drafted by the Colts (59th over-all), and most think he was a reach. Cody Wallace was drafted in the 4th round (107th over-all) by the 49ers and Kory Lichtensteiger was drafted right after Wallace at #108 by the Broncos. The 2007 NFL Draft was a little better, Ryan Kalil was drafted in the 2nd round (59th) by the Panthers and the Dolphins drafted a pair of centers Samson Satele in the 2nd round (60th) and Drew Mormino in the 6th round (199th). In that same draft (2007) the Rams drafted Dustin Fry in the 5th round (139th) and the Falcons drafted Doug Datish in the 6th round (198th over-all).

Why is that? Well most of your most talented offensive lineman swing out to play tackle and most guards have also played some center, so quite often, like my example above (Andre Gurode), guards are drafted and converted to centers in the NFL.

So whatís the point of this article? That trend might just end for the 2009 NFL Draft. This year we can finally get excited about the centers, heading into the 2008 college football season, there are three centers that carry a first round NFL Draft grade. All three wonít be drafted in the 1st round obviously, but all three of my highlighted players below are extremely talented and if they continue to improve on strength and technique, are all capable of becoming top flight, even pro bowl NFL centers very early in their NFL careers. All three are either 1st or 2nd team NFL Draft Dog All Americans.

1. Max Unger, Oregon, 6í 4.5Ē 308 lbs:
I really like this prospect and out of all three he is the most likely to be a first rounder. His versatility will significantly raise his draft stock in the eyes of the NFL. As a prep Unger attended Hawaii Preparatory Academy, played right tackle and was one of the nationís top 50 offensive guards by Rivals.com despite not playing organized football until the ninth grade. After receiving an initial red-shirt due to hamstring issues, Unger was a top left tackle for Oregon his first two seasons.

His red-shirt freshman year he protected the blind side of Oregon quarterback Kellen Clemens for 12 consecutive starts. He was one of only two starters from his freshman class, along with right tackle Geoff Schwartz. Unger was a major reason why Oregon rose from last in the Pac-10 in QB sacks allowed in 2004 (41) to third in 2005 (20).

As a sophomore in 2006 he started 13 games at left tackle and earned second-team all conference accolades in addition to receiving Oregonís Ed Moshofsky Award as its top offensive lineman. He played a major role in Oregon finishing second in the Pac-10 in fewest quarterback sacks allowed (16) as well as leading the league in rushing offense (14th nationally) for the first time since 1955.

Last season as a junior he moved inside to center and really shined, he blocked for RB Jonathan Stewart to a career season and school record 1,792 rushing yards and a first round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft where he (Stewart) was selected 13th over-all by the Carolina Panthers. Oregon finished 6th in the nation in rushing offense and Unger was either first or second team All American by most major media outlets.

Heading into the 2008 season, the coaching staff considered moving him back to tackle, but unless there is an emergency, he will remain at center. Unger is a 25-game starter and was named to the 2008 Rimington Trophy spring watch list and has been named to the All-Pac-10 team by several media outlets. Being able to play any position along the offensive line will make Unger hot property for the 2009 NFL Draft. "He's got an attitude I like about football on the offensive line," UO coach Mike Bellotti said of Unger. "He's going to hit somebody. He's going to be physical every play, and I like that."

2. Alex Mack, California, 6í 4Ē 302 lbs:
Mack is another great Pac 10 center, about the same size as Unger but just a tad shorter. Mack didnít start until his sophomore year (2006), but that year he really blossomed as a starter, he earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors after starting all 13 games at the center position and was a second team Pac-10 All-Academic selection and voted the team's Most Improved Offensive Lineman. He finished the regular season with team-highs of 25.5 pancakes and 57.5 knockdowns.

Last year (2007) as a junior Mack was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy as the top center in the nation and earned the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-10. The Morris Trophy is special because it is voted on by the league's defensive linemen. Mack was also one of just three players to be a unanimous first-team All-Pac-10 selection. He was a first-team All-American center by The Sporting News and an honorable mention All-American by SI.com. He was honored as a midseason first-team All-American center by Phil Steele's Magazine as well as a midseason first-team All-American by SI.com and Rivals.com.

Before Max Unger emerged, Mack was rated as the No. 1 junior center in the nation by Mel Kiper and he an Unger are neck and neck for that honor heading into the 2008 college football season. Mack was the most talented offensive lineman on an offensive line which allowed just 11 sacks (best in the Pac-10, third in the nation).

3. Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas, 6í 4Ē 314 lbs:
Phil Steele actually has Luigs ranked ahead of Unger and Mack heading into the 2008 season. Steele might have a point, after all Luigs was the winner of the Rimington Award last year as the top center in the nation. Darren McFadden and Felix Jones didnít both become first round draft picks and run for a combined 2,842 yards and 26 touchdowns by accident, and they surely didnít do it alone. A lot of their success was due to Luigs blocking and many of their runs were right up the gut behind Luigs. Last season Arkansas averaged an amazing 296.8 rushing yards per game. Luigs led the Razorbacks with a 90.4 percent grade average last season (2007), and blocked his way for 36 100-yard rushing games in 35 career games, including a school-record 16 100-yard performances in 12 games last season.

Luigs is not only big and strong, but he plays with great leverage and has excellent feet, he is also experienced and durable, he started 10 games as a red shirt freshman and got 14 starts as a sophomore where he received 3rd team All-American honors. Last season, besides winning the Rimington Award, he was a unanimous first team All American and recorded another 13 starts.

So there you have it, three of the best center prospects for the NFL Draft in recent memory. Will the 2009 NFL Draft be remembered as the year of the center? Only time will tell, but if your NFL team needs a center next year you are in luck.


I really hope we get one of these guys. Hopefully Max Unger because of his versatility and hsi ability to fet to the second level has impressed the hell out of me.
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Old 11-12-2008   #3
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Thanks for the info Muss.

I have Mack rated no.1.

I haven't seen Unger play yet but I will keep an eye on him.

I think Luings will last until the 3rd rd. he would be a great value pick for us there. IMO
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Old 11-13-2008   #4
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

I want the Texans to trade down and take Alex Mack in the mid 20's of the 1st round.
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Old 11-14-2008   #5
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

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Originally Posted by Wolf6151 View Post
I want the Texans to trade down and take Alex Mack in the mid 20's of the 1st round.
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Old 11-14-2008   #6
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Why not pick a C in the first round of the draft if he is as safe a pick as most think? Having the middle of our line set for many years to come would be sweet. It would be nice if we traded down for a 1st and 2nd round pick and picked either Mack or Unger with one of those first 3 picks.
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Old 11-14-2008   #7
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Thanks for the info on these guys, Unger sounds awesome. I will really try to get a good look at him. Does anyone know if Myers could be moved to guard? C and RG are definite needs in my eyes and if Myers was limited to backup C and backup G, I think that'd be great- I think he's quality but I guess hasn't grown into starter material yet. Having depth on the OL (well, any position) is so important.

There are just still too many needs on this team for me to know what I want us to do when during the draft. But if they get a guy like Unger in the 2nd and they think he'd be awesome there- more power to 'em! The enterior of our OL is getting pushed back too much.
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Old 11-14-2008   #8
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

If we want a Center, go with Mack or Luigs.

Unger will get drafted high because of his versatility, not necessarily because he will be the best Center in the NFL.
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Old 11-14-2008   #9
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

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Originally Posted by bah007 View Post
If we want a Center, go with Mack or Luigs.

Unger will get drafted high because of his versatility, not necessarily because he will be the best Center in the NFL.
I cannot comment on Mack because I havent seen him play yet. Luigs got pushed back too much to deserve anything more than a late third round pick IMO. You need to watch Unger play. I have never been as impressed by a Center in all my years of watching football, college or pro. I admit Center is not a position I normally pay much attention too. Though I do pay attention when there is a player that has a rep of being top tier talent wise. I watched Mangold and really wanted us to draft him and Im telling you Unger is light years ahead of him at this stage. This kid is not just versitle (which gives him more value IMO) he is PERFECT for the ZB sytem. He is not just a seal off blocker, he is a GREAT cut blocker. Dont take my word for it, watch him play. If you are not impressed I'll be shocked.
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Old 11-15-2008   #10
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

I used to be for drafting a center (I wanted Kalil last year), especially with that new second round pick, but the more I've considered this year, the less and less I see fault with the Texans' o-line, and that says a lot. Usually it's all about them, but they've come together pretty well, and that's a line with three new players this season (Myers, Brown, and Brisiel). Duane is having some problems, and sure Myers isn't getting any younger, but when I think of how many true deficiencies the Texans have on defense and how well the Texans offense works when the QB isn't handing the ball over to the other team, the less I see a center being taken first day or even third round.

Maybe they will take one in the later rounds. They've had good success with later-round players, like Owen Daniels. Maybe they can mine for gold for Center, too.
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Old 11-15-2008   #11
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

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Originally Posted by Texans Horror View Post
I used to be for drafting a center (I wanted Kalil last year), especially with that new second round pick, but the more I've considered this year, the less and less I see fault with the Texans' o-line, and that says a lot. Usually it's all about them, but they've come together pretty well, and that's a line with three new players this season (Myers, Brown, and Brisiel). Duane is having some problems, and sure Myers isn't getting any younger, but when I think of how many true deficiencies the Texans have on defense and how well the Texans offense works when the QB isn't handing the ball over to the other team, the less I see a center being taken first day or even third round.

Maybe they will take one in the later rounds. They've had good success with later-round players, like Owen Daniels. Maybe they can mine for gold for Center, too.

One of the reasons the QB's are handing the ball over so much is because our interior line is getting manhandled so much. No QB in the NFL can perform well when the defense is getting a strong push up the middle. It is imperative that we fix this problem or it wont matter who the QB is.
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Old 11-16-2008   #12
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Anyone catch the Cal game today? Had to work and missed it. Did watch the Alabama game though and really dont think Caldwell is an option for this team. Just doesnt have the mobility for a ZB system.
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Old 11-16-2008   #13
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Quote:
Does anyone know if Myers could be moved to guard?
At 293 pounds ? I mean you could . But why would you want to after you've watched him go against the DTs he has gone against the first eight ? Myers does a wonderful job on the second level and in space. However, he crawls in the wagon tracks when it comes to productivity in the box. Myers is Turk fodder. The sooner the better. I'm ready to see if Chris White has any game at all at this point. They didn't do it last year. Won't do it this year.

Look you got four guys with hope on the board. Hope looks pretty good to me right now.
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Old 12-24-2008   #14
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8xCkToEnJ8

A cool video I found of Alex Mac's run blocking. He needs to work on balance, but it's a nice highlight video to watch.
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Old 12-24-2008   #15
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Quote:
Originally Posted by mussop View Post
Anyone catch the Cal game today? Had to work and missed it. Did watch the Alabama game though and really dont think Caldwell is an option for this team. Just doesnt have the mobility for a ZB system.
I disagree with you on Caldwell, he get to the 2nd level pretty well IMO. I like the top 4 OC this year, so far. The combine will show some more. (Mack, Caldwell, Luigs, and Unger). (Sleeper to watch is Eric Wood from Louisville)

BTW most college interior OL need one or two years of NFL training to get the lower body strength they need in the NFL. So watch the technique and the base they use, and also remember quickness cannot be coached, either they have it or they don't.
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Old 12-24-2008   #16
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Max Unger fits our ZBS and according to Walter football, he's projected to go in the 5th round.
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Old 12-24-2008   #17
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

Our offense is on its way to being one of the most elite units in the NFL, and our defense sucks... so why would we not take a defensive player with our first-round pick?

Myers hasn't been phenomenal, but he hasn't been nearly as bad as MANY of the defensive positions that need an upgrade.
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Old 12-24-2008   #18
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

I think Myers is awful against even average DL's. I'm just an average observer, but there has just been too much pressure up the middle in almost every game.

Someone help me out here...did we trade that 5th round pick for Myers before Alex Gibbs came aboard, or afterwards?
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Old 12-24-2008   #19
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

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Originally Posted by rarazz00 View Post
Max Unger fits our ZBS and according to Walter football, he's projected to go in the 5th round.
I doubt he lasts to the 5th. He has the ability to play all 5 spots, though IMO, he is only average at each and does not truly stand out at any single spot.
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Old 12-24-2008   #20
DiehardChris
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Default Re: Centers available in the 2009 draft

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Originally Posted by Silver Oak View Post
I think Myers is awful against even average DL's. I'm just an average observer, but there has just been too much pressure up the middle in almost every game.

Someone help me out here...did we trade that 5th round pick for Myers before Alex Gibbs came aboard, or afterwards?
Gibbs joined in January, Myers was acquired (it was actually a 6th rounder) in March.
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