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NFL Draft Profile: Tyler Linderbaum, Offensive Center, Iowa Hawkeyes

NFL draft profile scouting report for Iowa center, Tyler Linderbaum


Pos: OC
Ht: 6021
Wt: 296
Hands: 1000
Arms: 3118
Wingspan: 7500
DOB: 4/7/00
Eligible: 2022
Solon, IA
Solon High School

Tyler Linderbaum
Iowa Hawkeyes


Aligning at center for the Hawkeyes, Linderbaum displays his wrestling background on every play with an extremely competitive nature exhibited by his tendency to block past the whistle. In the run game, Linderbaum excels in Iowa’s zone-heavy scheme, where his lightning-quick first step allows him to make special reach blocks and gain playside leverage. From this position, Linderbaum has extremely flexible hips that possess the torque necessary to turn defenders inwards and away from the play, plus he has powerful grip strength that allows him to sustain blocks effectively. In addition, in 2021, Linderbaum has improved mightily at climbing to the 2nd level and blocking linebackers due to his efficient footwork, balance and ability to square up to his target and make solid contact. In general, Linderbaum plays with outstanding hands, displaying great timing and looking to strike defenders first, but also has consistently good placement and pop. He has immense upper body and core strength, supplemented by leg drive to create push past the line-of-scrimmage. Linderbaum is also quite functional on gap/power concepts and is adept at making down blocks, turning his hips quickly to shift the defender towards the sideline and away from the run. In the passing game, Linderbaum is a very quick processor, which allows him to locate blitzers or stunts and neutralize them accordingly. His quick lateral mobility allows Linderbaum to mirror with ease and he generates very good play strength to anchor - powerful bull rushes from nose tackles don’t phase him as Linderbaum plays with low pad level and a wide base to give up ground slowly.


The one flaw in Linderbaum’s near-perfect game is that his size and bulk is below-average for what some teams want at the position. Gap/power-heavy teams may look elsewhere due to his slightly undersized measurements. It has rarely hurt him at Iowa, but occasionally Linderbaum gets stood up at the point-of-attack by a violent, thumping linebacker - the type that is becoming extinct in the NFL.


Linderbaum is a near-perfect prospect, both on and off the field. He makes special reach and combo blocks in a zone scheme and understands angles and leverage necessary for gap/power schemes. Linderbaum displays the awareness in pass protection that makes his teammates better and is very dependable when mirroring and anchoring. He can be a day one starter for half of the league and has the potential to be a top-3 player at the position.


Tyler Linderbaum was born on 4/7/2000 and attended Solon High School in Iowa. Linderbaum had an extremely decorated career - as a senior he was named team captain, a U.S. Army All-American, to the All-Iowa Elite football team, a district defensive MVP as a senior and junior, he earned first-team all-state and all-district honors as an offensive lineman as a junior and senior. He helped lead Solon to win the district title in his junior and senior years, with a total record of 26-8. Linderbaum was a three-year letterman as an offensive and defensive lineman, tallying 37 tackles as a senior, with three tackles for loss and two sacks. Interestingly, he also earned four letters in baseball and three in wrestling and track, while posting a 53-10 wrestling mark as a junior and placing fifth in an in-state heavyweight tournament. Linderbaum also qualified for Drake Relays in the shot put with a personal best of 54 feet as a junior and finally also plays baseball, ranking among team leaders in runs and hits as a junior. After high school, 247Sports ranked him as a 3-Star recruit, the 409th-best recruit nationally, the 28th-ranked defensive tackle in the country and the 2nd best recruit in the state of Iowa. Linderbaum committed to Iowa and played defensive tackle as a true freshman in 2018, where he saw limited action in two games, and decided to redshirt. In 2019, he switched to the center position and started all 13 games, garnering an Honorable mention All-Big Ten by league coaches and media. In 2020, Linderbaum continued his stellar play and was named one of three finalists for the Rimington Trophy, first-team All-America by Pro Football Focus and The Athletic, second-team All-America by Associated Press, FWAA, Walter Camp and Phil Steele, first-team All-Big Ten by league media, Associated Press and Phil Steele, named second-team All-Big Ten by league coaches, Academic All-Big Ten and Dean’s List recognition. Linderbaum’s mentality is a refreshing one, he’s humble and team-driven, saying of his under-recruitment, "I kind of enjoyed not getting recruited that much. Just that underdog mentality.” Linderbaum has proven recruiters wrong and is the most decorated draft-eligible center in the nation, but it never goes to his head, “I can tell everyone that I have all these preseason accolades, but what does that do for the Iowa offensive line? Nothing.” Furthermore, his teammates and coaches are quick to praise Linderbaum - senior defensive end, Zach VanValkenburg says, “The thing about Tyler, he’s just so quick. Especially with our zone-blocking scheme, he gets around people. Before you know it, the ball’s outside of you and you have no chance.” In addition, Iowa Head Coach, Kirk Ferentz has high praise for Linderbaum’s off-field qualities, stating, “I don't know if it gets any better than Tyler. He's just a tremendous young person, first and foremost. Tremendous student, just has a lot of pride in everything he does, and it shows in the way he practices. But then beyond that, the impact he has on his teammates, especially his line mates. We feel so fortunate that he's our center right now.”


Special athlete and immense competitor who makes reach and combo blocks to fuel a dominant zone run scheme and is outstanding in all aspects of pass protection.


2nd Round