Over the course of the next several months, the Seahawks and 31 other teams will be evaluating the latest crop of incoming talent in preparation for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Up next in our prospect profiles series, the Seahawks face some tough decisions to make along the offensive line, including the center position. With Justin Britt recovering from a torn ACL, Wisconsin standout Tyler Biadasz could help ease those concerns.
First off, Biadasz has been durable for the Badgers, starting every single one of Wisconsin’s 41 games over the last three seasons, including an Orange Bowl victory and Rose Bowl appearance.
In front of every great running back is a great offensive line, and two-time Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor had just that with Biadasz and company opening up running lanes for him. Taylor, considered a top draft prospect himself, ran for over 6,000 yards and 42 touchdowns in the three seasons Biadasz started at center for the Badgers.
Ferocious as a run blocker, Biadasz often finishes with a vengeance and generates movement off the snap. He has a vicious initial punch and once he gets his hands inside a defender, it is game over. Holes often opened up in front of Taylor up the middle as Biadasz consistently moved and turned defenders to create creases for the star back.
Despite lacking preferred length, Biadasz also excelled in pass protection, only allowing one sack in 390 pass blocking attempts during the 2019 season. According to Pro Football Focus, he surrendered just five pressures as well.
A high-effort guy whose motor is always running hot, Biadasz truly is an anchor in the middle of that stout Wisconsin line and handles his assignments. As centers tend to need in the NFL, Biadasz shows high football IQ and an ability to be a leader on the line.
Sometimes Biadasz’s relentless motor can be to his detriment to his game, as he can over-pursue and take poor angles when going into the second level of the defense looking to make a block on linebackers and safeties. Defenders often found their way past him with little resistance in such situations.
Oregon’s stud defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux gave the entire Wisconsin line fits in the Rose Bowl, including Biadasz. When facing stud pass rushers in the middle, Biadasz mostly holds his ground, but is prone to not staying square and losing gap integrity, a cause for concern facing top NFL talent at the next level.
Biadasz had surgery before the 2019 season to repair a hip issue and at times, it looked like it affected his flexibility and bend on the field this past season. An average athlete for the position, he is better in tight spaces than he is in the open field, which could impact his effectiveness in different schemes.
Fit in Seattle
If healthy, Justin Britt will remain the Seahawks starting center as long as he's on the roster. He has been a mainstay at the position, missing just one game in the three seasons prior to tearing his ACL last year.
However, the organization could save over $8 million against the cap by cutting Britt as he enters the final year of his current deal. His cap hit will be north of $11 million in 2020. But if Seattle chooses to do that, they'll need to draft a center to replace him.
Ethan Pocic was thought to be the center-in-waiting after Britt, but the former second round pick has largely been a disappointment and has been unable to stay healthy. Like Britt, he will be entering the final year of his contract.
Joey Hunt could return as a restricted free agent, but after taking over for Britt last season, his lack of size made it very difficult for him to hold up against stronger defensive tackles and he was exposed late in the season. He doesn't look like a long-term solution.
Biadasz has the skills and experience to be inserted into a starting lineup on most NFL teams right away due to his experience and offers a high ceiling. He would fit right into what the Seahawks want to do on offense - pound the ball with a bruising running attack. While concerns about length are warranted, Biadasz also performed better than most college centers in pass protection.
Drafting a center in April would almost assuredly bring an end to Britt's tenure. However, if Seattle has an eye beyond just 2020 and wants to solidify the offensive line for the remaining years of Russell Wilson’s contract, drafting a nasty interior blocker like Biadasz would be a good start and he should be available on day two to select with a second or third round pick.