OC Pat Elflein, Ohio St.

6’3” – 303 lbs. – 5.22

Redshirted, then started one game the following season before becoming a full-time starter in his sophomore year (three games at left guard, twelve at right guard.) Was a full-time starter at right guard in 2015, then started at center this past season. Has a high-school wrestling background. Big, thickly-built center with an impressive combination of height, bulk, and length; arms measured 33.25” at the Combine. Plays with a tough demeanor, working through the whistle to stick with his man; team captain who has received lots of praise for his leadership and character. Consistent, reliable run blocker. Able to get a grip on opponents and churn his legs to generate movement; has the grip to sustain if he successfully locks on. Can clear out defensive tackles when he is able to attack their outside shoulder. Works well on double-team blocks. Also a pretty athletic player for his size who is frequently asked to pull and make blocks on the move. Not just a short-area option; works hard to pull to the edge and lead the way for runners on outside attempts. Able to get around the offensive tackle and secure a block on a pursuing defender. Has some trouble lining up quicker opponents and getting his hands on them; will whiff or lunge at times when trying to secure blocks on defensive ends or linebackers. Sometimes looks like he’s pressing and will end up on the ground. Keeps his head on a swivel when protecting the quarterback. Active feet and strong anchor in pass protection make him a pretty reliable pivot; can easily absorb opposing bull-rushes and has some lateral movement skills to mirror against speedier opponents. Has power in his hands which can be used to jolt defenders with a punch. Frequently asked to pull and block opposing edge rushers on play-action passes; sets up quickly and is able to bend his knees and extend his arms into opponents. Has some trouble sticking with opposing defensive tackles on some counters, such as against defenders with explosive spin moves. More likely to be beat by explosiveness off the snap than by power. A team captain with excellent size, underrated athleticism, and three years of starting experience between center and both guard spots, he has the look of a long-term starter who can consistently execute in the run game and who should do a respectable job in pass protection as well. It would be a surprise if such a safe pick made it out of the draft’s second day.

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