OC Cesar Ruiz, Michigan*

6’4” – 319 lbs.

Started at right guard in five of ten games played as a freshman, then took over as the team’s starting center the following year. Reprised that role as a junior, then decided to forego his senior season and declare for the draft. Well-built center with solid height and ideal bulk for the position; checks all the boxes from a physical standpoint. Plays the game with power and aggressiveness. Comes out of his stance low and does a good job of sticking with opponents once engaged; overall hand placement is good, and is capable of resetting. Gets extension with his arms, although it will be interesting to see how long they measure at the Combine. Keeps his feet churning after contact and is capable of generating push and picking up pancake blocks, with the killer instinct to take advantage of opportunities to finish opponents. Upper-body and grips strength allow him to generate torque and twist opponents out of position. Wasn’t asked to pull too frequently and overall athletic ability isn’t elite, but has enough short-area quickness to get to the second level and engage defenders, doing a good job of lining up opponents in space. Can occasionally be jolted a little bit on initial contact, causing him to lose some of his leverage. Was one of the most efficient centers in pass protection last season, with excellent snap-to-snap consistency. Bends at the knees, plays with a wide base, and looks very comfortable absorbing power from opposing bull-rushers, dropping an early anchor. Has the lateral quickness to mirror, keeping his hands loaded and firing them out high and inside; can place them accurately when blocking against counters. Keeps his head on a swivel and seeks out teammates to help when left open, with power in his shove to knock opponents off-balance. Able to jog into place and set up against power when blocking for rollouts. Does have a slightly tendency to bend at the waist and could be more consistent about keeping his back straight, but it didn’t really affect his performance during the games reviewed. Looks like he made a good choice in declaring for the draft, as he has pro-ready size, power, and intelligence, with the type of consistency and nastiness teams look for. As it stands, there are some minor issues with balance to be addressed, but looks capable of coming into the league and picking up a starting position on the interior of an offensive line. Could easily be the first center off the board.

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