First Take - Top Center Prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft
With the report cards for the 2020 NFL draft completed, NFLDraftScout is turning its attention to the class of 2021, offering a quick “First Take” with rankings and perspective of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each position group.
Historically, centers were considered more of an after-thought in the first round. That has changed in recent years with six earning top 32 selections in the past five drafts, including former Michigan standout Cesar Ruiz getting picked 24 overall by New Orleans this past spring.
The 2020 crop of centers was considered a very good one with future NFL starters available throughout Day Two and Three, making it a surprise that the Saints invested such an early pick in Ruiz. The Falcons (Matt Hennessy), Broncos (Lloyd Cushenberry), Cowboys (Tyler Biadasz), Redskins (Keith Ismael) and Browns (Nick Harris) all believe they found potential starters at much better points of value.
Those clubs still needing help at the position have some exciting prospects coming down the pike, though the top talent is young and no guarantee to make itself available in 2021.
Oklahoma’s Creed Humphrey, a finalist for the Rimington Award in just his second season as a starter, is currently the most polished.
Scouts are also quite excited about what Josh Myers showed in his first season inside for the Buckeyes alongside stud guard Wyatt Davis, and the early play from Luke Matthews and Alec Lindstrom at Texas A&M and Boston College, respectively, suggest they will be joining their brothers in the NFL soon.
Top-rated senior, Landon Dickerson, actually began his college career at Florida State before transferring to Tallahassee a year ago after graduating in just three seasons with the Seminoles. He earned a starting spot at right guard early (including in the video below) before switching to the pivot for the final nine contests last year. Scouts love his size and ferocity.
Jimmy Morrissey, from Pittsburgh is the polar opposite of his highly touted peers, initially joining the Panthers as a walk-on. Since, he’s started 39 games and is a two-time All-ACC honoree, including a First-Team pick in 2019. While note as big or agile, he possesses the grit, smarts and reliability teams expect out of a center.
Underclassmen are denoted with an asterisk. All players listed are potentially eligible for the 2021 NFL draft.
The Top Three
1. *Creed Humphrey 6-4, 316 Oklahoma
2. *Josh Myers 6-4, 310 Ohio State
3. Landon Dickerson 6-5, 308 Alabama
Best of the Rest
4. *Luke Matthews 6-3, 315 Texas A&M
5. *Alec Lindstrom 6-3, 290 Boston College
6. Jimmy Morrissey 6-2, 305 Pittsburgh
7. *Trey Hill 6-3, 330 Georgia
8. Matt Allen 6-2, 312 Michigan State
9. Jack Wohlabaugh 6-3, 300 Duke
10. Michal Menet 6-3, 313 Penn State
11. Drake Jackson 6-1, 313 Kentucky
12. Doug Kramer 6-2, 300 Illinois
13. Orlando Umana 6-3, 340 Utah
14. Eli Johnson 6-1, 303 Mississippi
15. Conner Olson 6-4, 305 Minnesota
Prior “First Take” Positional Previews: