With their 5th round pick (161st overall) in the 2014 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers select Carl Bradford, an LB from Arizona State.
Corey Linsley has been the center of attention on the Ohio State offensive line for the past two seasons – 2012 and 2013 – and was one of the best centers in the nation during that time … he made the transition from offensive guard/tackle to center in the spring of 2012 and proceeded to start every game as a junior and senior … called the team’s “apex,” he had the responsibility of handling all line of scrimmage play calls, adjustments and snaps … and then he would block and protect with a ferocious authority … he was a tough kid, too, having battled through a couple of injuries the last two years, including foot surgery this spring, to start all 26 games for the Buckeyes, a stretch when the team won a school-record 24-consecutive games … logged more than 1,600 plays from scrimmage (combined) in 2012 and 2013 … he was part of a four-man quartet of seniors along the offensive line who collectively were the heart and soul of the 2013 Buckeyes … he played in 42 games for the Buckeyes … graduated in December 2013 with his degree in economics.
Stout base. Works to re-anchor. Jolting punch. Strong upper body to latch onto and control defenders in short area. Generates movement in the run game. Understands angles and positioning. Excellent weight-room strength — bench-presses 500 pounds and squats a small house. Smart and dependable. Communicated all the line calls and checks. Is tough and will play hurt. Hardworking team captain with leadership traits.
Has short arms. More strong than explosive — doesn’t roll his hips and blow nose tackles off the ball. Falls off blocks when he bends at the waist. Pedestrian foot athlete — slow to cut off linebackers, labors to pull and lacks lateral quickness to recover when beaten. Stressed by quicker rushers.
Strong-bodied, heavy-handed, short-area mauler who anchored one of the nation’s most physical, productive rushing attacks. Has athletic limitations, but compensates with strength, smarts and competitiveness. Has the makeup to overachieve, and could increase his value by proving versatile enough to back up at guard.
In a stunning turn of events, general manager Ted Thompson does a complete 180 and actually drafts an interior lineman instead of converting a tackle. Linsley is also not your typical Packers center; Scott Wells and Evan Dietrich-Smith were more technicians in the passing game with good leverage rather than the more road grader/brute strength which is the forte of Linsley. It’s interesting to see why Linsley didn’t participate in many combine events, apparently due to a hamstring pull. It will be interesting to see how much this pick is influenced by running back Eddie Lacy; ever since Ahman Green’s prime years the Packers have never really put much emphasis on the running game because the passing game has been so deadly. Linsley also offers some versatility at guard, meaning its possible that TJ Lang (who has been the Packers emergency center for quite a while) might kick in to center and be replaced by Linsley.
Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.