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Hot Take Tuesday: Sedrick Van Pran Will be the Best Center in the NFL

NFL Draft Bible's Jack Borowsky explains why the Bulldog's offensive lineman will be the best center in the NFL.

The NFL currently has an elite tier of centers featuring Creed Humphrey, Jason Kelce and Frank Ragnow. All three have dominated in the NFL from day one and have exhibited consistent play week in and week out.

There are some other really solid centers in the NFL; if a team selects one early in the draft, their hope is that the player they take enters that elite tier. This is a solid center class, but one player stands out among his peers and has the upside to be one of the best, if not the best, centers in the NFL: Georgia's Sedrick Van Pran.

Coming out of high school, Van Pran was the top-ranked center in the nation and one of the highest recruits in the 2020 class. Playing behind Trey Hill his freshman season, Van Pran played in three games and recorded 25 snaps.

With Hill off to the NFL in the 2021 draft, it was Van Pran's turn to take over at center. From the jump, it was easy to see that Van Pran had an NFL future. He held up well against a fantastic Clemson offensive line, and his impressive play continued throughout the season.

The gauntlet that an SEC team like Georgia faces could lead to growing pains for younger players along the offensive line, but that wasn't the case with Van Pran. Especially in pass protection, Van Pran played with a wide base, strong anchor and high-level hand technique for his age.

In the run game, he did an excellent job working down the line and playing in space. He was explosive out of his stance, played with a very good pad level, and quickly identified players to latch onto at the second level. In terms of sustaining blocks, Van Pran showed off the grip strength and hand placement to drive defenders into the dirt.

What impressed me most about his redshirt freshman film was that he was doing things well beyond his age against juniors and seniors who were NFL-caliber players. The Alabama, Clemson and Tennessee caliber of opponents wasn't a problem for Van Pran.

This season, Van Pran was viewed as the top underclassmen center in the draft but has developed into the best center in the draft, regardless of age. Against Oregon in week one, Van Pran had wow rep after wow rep. He did a great job redirecting and sealing off defenders while showing off even better explosiveness and play strength.

Van Pran's play was a big reason why the Bulldogs had so much success offensively. I had circled two other matchups to follow, Auburn and Florida and Van Pran had tremendous success in both.

The hip flexibility, natural movement skills and power are all fantastic, but his football IQ is the best aspect of Van Pran's game. He is always in the right spot and never looks lost on the field. He can anticipate stunts, twists, pass rush moves, and counters.

Offensive line coaches will fall in love with Van Pran's football IQ, and scouts will be enamored with his physical tools. Combine that with an NFL-ready frame and multiple years of experience in the SEC, and you have the best center in the draft. He is right up there with the top centers in the NFL when they were prospects.

Right now, I am currently higher on Van Pran as a prospect than I was on Ragnow and Humphrey, who were great in their own right. That is the kind of player Van Pran is. His floor is a long-time starter in the NFL who could be a pro bowler, but with everything he possesses, Van Pran can end up as the best center in the NFL.