Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: C Brian Schwenke
Brian Schwenke, C California
6-3, 314 pounds
Hometown: Oceanside, CA
40 yard: 4.99
News and Notes:
A relative unknown coming into the draft process, Brian Schwenke has cemented himself as a top 5 center in the 2013 NFL draft after an impressive showing in both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. Schwenke started with the Cal Bears as a left guard but rotated between both sides until his senior year where he moved to the pivot. While he lacks the experience playing center of some of the other draft prospects, Schwenke does offer good versatility being able to play anywhere in the interior offensive line but ultimately his preferred position will probably be center. Schwenke posted some of the best combine results of any offensive linemen this year, especially by breaking the 5″ mark on the 40 yard dash and recording a remarkable 7.31 second 3 cone time (as a comparison, Nick Perry recorded a 7.25 3-cone last year)
What they’re saying about him:
- CBSSports.com: “Possesses a compact build well-suited to interior line play. Has a naturally low center of gravity and uses it, along with a wide base and excellent use of leverage to anchor against bigger, more powerful bull-rushers. Possesses an exceptional initial burst off the snap to turn and seal off defenders. Quick, active hands and shows an explosive pop on contact. Keeps his legs driving through the play to finish blocks. Alert, competitive blocker who looks to help his teammates and blocks to the whistle. Very good burst to the second level, showing improved awareness as he gained experience at the position. Made all of the line calls for Cal despite his inexperience at the position. Durable. Played in 48 of 50 possible games for Cal, including 36 starts.”
- NFL Combine: ” Schwenke has a wealth of starting experience, both at guard and center. Schwenke comes off the ball very quickly, and is sound in his hand placement technique. He plays with a low pad level. Schwenke lacks great power, so he will be a better fit at center.”
- Does not have the Herculean physique that has been trending with offensive linemen this year; but reminds me a lot like Mark Tauscher, who wasn’t much of a looker either but was one of the best right tackles the Packers have ever had.
- Immediately his quickness out of the snap is apparent, Schwenke can also get into the second level in a hurry.
- Has a great lower center of gravity and good form when taking bull rushes. Might not be the strongest center this year but a solid base and good technique more than make up for that.
- Can sometimes be prone to taking poor angles at the second level, often times missing on defenders.
- Seems to struggle a little playing guard, but again shows great quickness and can be effective pulling.
- Shows a good initial punch, though sometimes he gets too excited and actually pops up when punching
- Shows the toughness and grittiness needed to play in the interior, will help fellow linemen seal off defenders and blocks to the whistle.
If drafted by the Packers:
With only one year under center, Schwenke still probably has a lot to learn about playing pivot, especially if Schwenke wasn’t involved in playcalling during his senior year. Schwenke also occasionally had issues with snapping in the shotgun, although again this is probably due more to inexperience more than anything else. However, Schwenke is probably the best zone center in this years draft as Travis Frederick is more of a power center while Barrett Jones is sort of a zone-power “tweener”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Schwenke take a year or two to fully develop into a starting caliber center, but in the mean while Schwenke would be the perfect swing man for the interior line, especially with Evan Dietrich-Smith being promoted to starting center. Finally, Schwenke is projected as either a 2nd or 3rd round pick, so the Packers can use their coveted 1st round pick elsewhere while still getting a great player to take over for Scott Wells and Jeff Saturday.——————
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.