NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Brian Schwenke, C, California

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Brian Schwenke

Green Bay Packers NFL Draft prospect profile: C Brian Schwenke

Player Information:

Brian Schwenke, C California
6-3, 314 pounds
Hometown: Oceanside, CA

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 yard: 4.99
Bench: 31
Vertical: 26.50″
Broad: 9’00”
Shuttle: 4.74
Cone: 7.31

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.”

 

Video:

 

Video Analysis:

  • 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.

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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  • QOTSA1

    I think Schwenke would be a good fit for the Packers. Maybe not in the 2nd round, but in the 3rd or 4th.

    He could push Dietrich-Smith at center, or fill that backup role that the Packers will have if Dietrich-Smith is the starting center.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      If anything he’s been trending up since the Senior Bowl, so I don’t know if he’ll be around in the 3rd for the Packers to take at their slot, but then again centers are typically a little less valued than tackles (duh) and guards, so maybe he falls a bit.

      • QOTSA1

        Yeah, it’s hard to say with centers. There were only 4 drafted last year.

        • Thomas Hobbes

          Outside of safeties (another position of need this year), centers are pretty much the least valued position on the field (excluding kickers, but everyone excludes them).

  • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

    One of my favorites players in this draft – especially for the Packers.

  • Tarynfor12

    If it looks like he is around for the early 3rd,I would not be surprised to see TT move up for him.This guy will be a solid guy who gets the extension deal after three years that locks him up for another 5 making a solid 8 year guy on the OL which would greatly aid what Rodgers should have over the next 8 seasons.
    He would be the starter next season for sure if not at the end of the 13′ season.IMO

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Well maybe slow down a bit there, Schwenke only has one year of pivot experience and I couldn’t find any information as to his play calling ability; which I would assume is either non-existant or very limited at best considering he was a guard for the majority of his collegiate career. But overall, Dietrich-Smith seems to be a decent enough center so it’s not like you need to find a day 1 starter at center, so there is time to develop someone.

  • xuyee

    If TT gets, say, a compensatory 4th for Flynn, we could trade our 4th to move up in the 3rd to get this guy. IIRC, we have no backup guard or center now that EDS is starting.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Keep in mind the Packers signed Jeff Saturday, Cedric Benson and Philip Merling, which does factor into the compensatory pick forumla (specially Benson and Saturday who both had significant playing time). Also, Flynn’s contract was modest and he didn’t play so chances are good the Packers get only a low compensatory pick this year.

      • ThomasMagnumPI

        GB lost Wells too, so that figures in.

        Here’s a good link to the most accurate projection for compensatory picks:

        http://bloggingthebeast.com/2013/01/27/2013-nfl-compensatory-pick-projections/

        • Thomas Hobbes

          Interesting, what happens if a player is signed mid-season ala Ryan Grant? As far as I can tell, the Packers would be losing Matt Flynn and Scott Wells, and only Jeff Saturday counts as an addition (since Benson and Merling had veteran minimum deals). If that’s the case, does losing Wells cancel out gaining Saturday when all things are considered (Wells had a higher contract but was injured for most of it, Saturday started until the end of the season but was paid less). In that case, is Flynn the Packers only compensation?

          • Stroh

            Packers lost Flynn and Wells who both signed larger contracts, but neither of which played very much. Packers signed Saturday to a small contract, but he did play quite a bit. I think we’ll get one comp pick, but probably not till 5th or so.

            My understanding is that only unrestricted FA’s who’s contracts have expired count towards comp pick and that there is a time element (tho I’m not positive) so any player signed to a contract after as an example, the draft, doesn’t count in determining compensatory picks. Any player released from a contract doesn’t count in determining comp picks.

            • Chad Toporski

              I thought I remembered something about 10+ years veterans not counting against the formula as acquisitions… Anyone know if that’s true?

              • ThomasMagnumPI

                I have read that too (likely here somewhere last year) but have no idea whether it is true or not.

          • Stroh

            Benson, Hargrove, Merling don’t count in determining comp picks.

            • Thomas Hobbes

              Right, but the fact that Saturday played most of the season while Scott didn’t plus the fact that Saturday’s contract was actually pretty sizable for a center (probably top 10-15 range) probably makes a difference as well.

              • Stroh

                I thought Saturday contract was relatively modest?

  • Turophile

    Either Mayock really liked Schwenke at the combine or he just liked to say “Schwenke” ! He certainly mentioned him favourably on more than one occasion.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      Mayock did seem to have a thing for Schwenke, he especially seemed to like him after Schwenke pulled a cheap shot on someone in the Senior Bowl. It also helped that Barrett Jones didn’t work out at the combine and Travis Frederick had perhaps one of the worst combine performances this year along with Damonte Moore

  • Mojo

    Great – now everybody knows about him.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      lol, I don’t think having a blog post makes much of a difference, he was a headline at the senior bowl and the combine and hopefully no NFL team is using this website (or any website for that matter) to help their drafting process

  • David

    So here is my question.

    With us trying to get a running game… could we be seeing the return of the power sweep with this guy.

    EDS and Schwenke have the speed to get to the outside and pull. Whether we add the 6th lineman or not… they could be a force together.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      I’m not entirely sure the power sweep is all that effective in todays game; considering the fact that no team really use the power sweep anymore is probably an indication that either it’s been figured out or defensive players are too athletic to regularly run the play. I think a center who can stop your mammoth nose tackle or 3 technique is more than adequate today, I’m not sure pulling as a center is all that common.

  • bobalou13

    Ditto Tom. Too much aggression by D linemen in today’s game for the old power sweep to develop. Too much penetration, too little time. Defense was much more passive back then.

  • Stroh

    I like Schwenke and would consider him after the 3rd round, but all he would be for the next few years is a backup interior OL. EDS has the full support of both Rodgers and McCarthy and they seem committed to giving him every chance to stay the starting Center. Even McCarren thinks EDS is the center of the present and future. Like McCarren said, Centers can be manufactured (developed) and often are. Campen, Wells, McCarren, Saturday all were developed after a few years.

    At OG, both Sitton and Lang are locks as the starting OG. Both are locked up for the next 3-5 years so there is no doubt they will be the LG and RG for the next few years.

    Schwenke would be a good addition as a backup to all the interior OL spots, I just don’t see the Packers using anything higher than a 4th for what in all likelihood is going to be a backup for at least a few years.

    The Packers have a Center prospect on the PS in Gerhart. I liked him as a developmental player going into last years draft. IMO he has the ability to develop into a possible starter in a few years. If he wants to make the active roster this year, he’ll have to show the ability to move out the OG tho. I just don’t expect the Packers to draft an OG/C early in the draft. They’ll give EDS next year to show continued improvement before looking to draft a Center in the early rounds.

    • Thomas Hobbes

      They might have their full support behind EDS at the moment, but really they have no choice, there literally is no depth at center unless you look at the practice squad, so obviously they have to say they like EDS. I will point out in 2010, the Packers dumped EDS in favor of Nick McDonald and in 2011 they seemed to still think more highly of McDonald, and it’s only when McDonald couldn’t snap the ball properly did EDS sneak onto the roster

      • Stroh

        Wells was released at one time too. Don’t see how that matters. They were both saying it bout EDS before he replaced Saturday as a starter. Can easily move Gerhart to the roster if he showed anything on PS last year. Isn’t that kinda the Packer way?

        • Thomas Hobbes

          It is the Packers way, all I am saying is that the Packers have no choice but to fully support EDS since there literally are no alternatives that any other team would really believe. Like for instance, if Ted Thompson said “We don’t like EDS”, then other teams know that Packers are going to be aiming to get a center in the draft (since Ted Thompson doesn’t do free agency really) so if other team’s are looking at centers too, then they know they have to jump ahead of the Packers. It would be more interesting if the Packers had their full support behind EDS if they draft a center in the first round or a name free agent.