2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Center

The top 2022 Center prospects available for the 2022 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2023 prospect. ** - denotes 2024 prospect.

This page was last updated April 26, 2022. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2024 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

Drafted by Ravens
Overall 25
Round: 1 Number: 25
1. Iowa image Tyler Linderbaum*, C, Iowa
Height: 6-2. Weight: 290. Arm: 31.13. Hand: 10.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2022): 1-2.

View Ranking History

4/26/22: After a superb 2020 season, Linderbaum dominated the Big Ten in 2021 and finished his season with phenomenal performance against a good Kentucky defense in the Citrus Bowl. Linderbaum could be a plus NFL starter early in his pro career. Linderbaum looks like a late first-round or early second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He could be a plug-and-play starter with the potential to be a Pro Bowler before the end of his rookie contract. Team sources say they do not feel that Linderbaum has the size to play guard.

The first thing that stands out about Linderbaum is how fast he plays. He is good ball handler, delivering quick and firm snaps to his quarterback. After the snap, Linderbaum is a lightning bolt out of his stance to quickly fire to his block. Not only is Linderbaum immediately getting into the chest of a lineman, he has rare acceleration to the linebackers, bolting to them much faster than expected. Linderbaum is very athletic and fluid in space. He has shown phenomenal speed, flashing downfield on a screen and rocking a defender to spring his back for a good gain.

As a run blocker, Linderbaum is not overwhelmingly powerful, but he has good strength. Linderbaum will tie up, turn, and manipulate defenders to move them away from his back. With his speed, he is a real weapon to pull or spring backs for gains with a key block at the second level. Iowa has been an offensive line factory for the NFL, and that can be seen in Linderbaum's development because he is a technician with intelligence and toughness.

In pass protection, Linderbaum is rock solid. He bends at the knee and has excellent body lean. With his quickness and loose ankles, Linderbaum can glide and slide to keep himself between speed rushers and the quarterback. He has a strong lower body and can sink his hips to stonewall bull rushers. With guard-tandem blocks, Linderbaum packs a punch and eats up tackles. He will be an asset in the NFL to help maintain a clean pocket and provide his quarterback room to step up.

Drafted by Eagles
Overall 51
Round: 2 Number: 19
2. Nebraska image Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska
Height: 6-3. Weight: 290. Arm: 33.38. Hand: 10.
Official 40 Time: 4.92.
Projected Round (2022): 2–4

View Ranking History

4/26/22: Jurgens broke into the starting lineup in 2019 and was Nebraska's starting center for three straight seasons. Jurgens is strong for size, but he still has size limitations for the NFL and is a center only without the ability to move to guard at the pro level.

Drafted by Jaguars
Overall 65
Round: 3 Number: 1
3. Kentucky image Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky
Height: 6-4. Weight: 302. Arm: 33.13. Hand: 10.
Official 40 Time: 5.21.
Projected Round (2022): 3-4.

View Ranking History

4/26/22: Fortner was a starter at guard before moving to center as a senior. He was a solid and reliable blocker for the Wildcats. As a pro, Fortner could be start out as a swing backup on the inside of the line with the potential to grow into a starting role at center. Fortner was solid at both the Senior Bowl and the combine.

Drafted by Raiders
Overall 90
Round: 3 Number: 26
4. Memphis image Dylan Parham, C, Memphis
Height: 6-3. Weight: 313. Arm: 33.13. Hand: 10.25.
Official 40 Time: 4.93.
Projected Round (2022): 3-5.

View Ranking History

4/26/22: Parham played right tackle and right guard for the Tigers over his solid career. The senior displayed impressive quickness, athleticism and reliable blocking in 2021. Given how undersized Parham is, moving to center could be his best option for the NFL. If Parham were to stay at guard, he would have to get stronger and add weight to his frame.

Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Jimmy Morrissey, Pittsburgh
  • '20 - Nick Harris, Washington
  • '19 - Connor McGovern, Penn State
5. Boston College image Alec Lindstrom, C, Boston College
Height: 6-3. Weight: 294. Arm: 32.63. Hand: 9.25.
Official 40 Time: 5.18.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6.

View Ranking History

4/26/22: Lindstrom was a solid college pro, but he is not the caliber of player as his older brother. Lindstrom looks more like a backup who will need time to see if he can develop beyond that.

7/3/21: Lindstrom was solid in 2020 and is a tough player at the point of attack. If the name sounds familiar, that's because Alec Lindstrom is the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom, a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Alec Lindstrom took a medical redshirt in 2017. A year later, he was mostly a backup center, but then in 2019 as a redshirt sophomore, he played well as the center for Boston College.

Lindstrom has quality height and length for center, but could use more weight for the NFL. That could come along as he ages. Alec and Chris' father, also named Chris, played in the NFL and coached them in high school. Hence, the brothers are polished and more developed in technique than the average player.

Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Josh Myers, Ohio State
  • '20 - Trystan Colon-Castillo, Missouri
  • '19 - Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
6. Utah image Nick Ford, C, Utah
Height: 6-3. Weight: 303.
Projected 40 Time: 5.39.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6
View Ranking History

4/26/22: Ford put together a solid 2021 season for Utah as a reliable interior blocker. He was a good college player, but he could have some limitations for the NFL.

7/3/21: Ford played all over the offensive line for the Utes over the past three seasons. The majority of his starts (13) came at right guard, but he also started at center (4), left guard (6), right tackle (2) and left tackle (1). For the NFL, Ford projects to playing center because he is undersized for guard or tackle. On NFL teams' preseason watch list, Ford is listed as a center.

Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Michal Menet, Penn State
  • '20 - Jake Hanson, Oregon
  • '19 - Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
7. Ole Miss image Ben Brown, C/G, Ole Miss
Height: 6-5. Weight: 315. Arm: 34.38. Hand: 10.25.
Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6.

View Ranking History

4/26/22: Brown started at right guard for Ole Miss. He played well against the majority of opponents, although he had some issues with Alabama. Brown could be a third-day selection who starts out as a backup before developing into a role in the NFL.

7/3/21: Brown enters his senior year having made 32 consecutive starts for the Rebels. During his sophomore and freshman seasons, Brown started at right guard, but the Rebels moved him to the middle for his junior year. Brown has good size and could be a valuable guard/center backup to start out his NFL career.

Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Shane McGough, Florida International
  • '20 - Darryl Williams, Mississippi State
  • '19 - Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
8. Texas image Derek Kerstetter, C, Texas
Height: 6-4. Weight: 299.
Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6
View Ranking History

4/26/22: Kerstetter was solid, but unimpressive, for Texas in 2021. Versus Oklahoma, Kerstetter gave up a sack to Perrion Winfrey and had problems with the Sooners' speed. Kerstetter would be a better fit on the inside in the NFL.

7/3/21: Kerstetter was solid, but unimpressive, for Texas in 2020. For the next level, he could offer versatility as a game-day backup who can be cross-trained at a few positions. He has played all over the offensive line for the Longhorns. On NFL team's preseason watch list, they have him as a tackle but given his size he could easily end playing more on the inside. He could stand to get stronger for the next level.

Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Jordan Reid, Michigan State
  • '20 - Keith Ismael, San Diego State
  • '19 - Alec Eberle, Florida State
9. Michigan State image Matt Allen, C, Michigan State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 311.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2022): 5-7
View Ranking History

4/26/22: Allen was solid for the Spartans, but faces skill-set limitations for the next level.

7/3/21: Allen is a quality college player, but he is more of a backup for the NFL. Allen lacks length and is short, but he is competitor and plays tough. Matt Allen is the third Allen boy to be a solid starting center for Michigan State following his older brothers Jack (2012-2015) and Brian (2014-2017). Similar to his brothers, Matt Allen is a dependable center who has athletic limitations to go along with being on the smaller side for the NFL. Allen's run blocking is better than his pass protection. His older brothers did not become good pros, so that doesn't help Matt Allen's projection with teams.

Drafted by Broncos
Overall 207
Round: 6 Number: 28
10. Illinois image Doug Kramer, C, Illinois
Height: 6-2. Weight: 306.
Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
Projected Round (2022): 6-FA
View Ranking History

4/26/22: Kramer was a solid college player who has limitations for the NFL. He is tough, intelligent and fights, so he could end up being an overachiever.

7/3/21: Kramer had a solid 2020. He has size limitations for the NFL, but he is a tough competitor and could overcome his weaknesses to stick in the pros. Kramer started 27 straight games before missing the Redbox Bowl with an ankle injury in 2019. He is a tough player who is a well-rounded blocker, but he is undersized for the NFL and lacking in length and weight.

Previous Seasons

  • '21 - Joe Sculthorpe, N.C. State
  • '20 - T.J. McCoy, Louisville
  • '19 - Sean Krepsz, Nevada
11. Michigan image Andrew Stueber, C/OT, Michigan
Height: 6-7. Weight: 327. Arm: 34.13. Hand: 10.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2022): 6-FA.

View Ranking History

4/26/22: Stueber started at center for the Wolverines, and he spent 2021 playing right tackle. Moving to the inside looks like his best fit for the NFL. He probably will have to play guard at the next level.

7/3/21: Stubbier played guard and right tackle for Michigan in 2020. He missed the 2019 season with injury and only started two games at right tackle in 2018. As a sophomore, he played mostly as a backup. Stueber could be better in 2021 after getting some experience in 2020.

Drafted by Packers
Overall 171
Round: 5 Number: 28
12. Washington image Luke Wattenberg, C, Washington
Height: 6-4. Weight: 293. Arm: 34.13. Hand: 9.38.
Official 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2022): 6-FA.

View Ranking History

4/26/22: Wattenberg started at center in 2021, and that looks like his best spot for the NFL. He was underwhelming against Michigan.

7/3/21: Wattenberg was the Huskies' starter at left guard in 2018 and 2019 before moving to center for four games in 2020. For the NFL, Wattenberg is projected to be a guard. While he has quality technique, Wattenberg needs to get stronger for the pro level.

Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Zach Shackelford, Texas
13. Alabama image Chris Owens, C/G, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.57.
Projected Round (2022): 7-FA
View Ranking History

4/26/22: Owens is more of a backup player for the NFL and has limitations.

7/3/21: Owens played guard and center for Alabama in 2020, showing the versatility to help at a variety of spots. He replaced Landon Dickerson for the conclusion of the season after Dickerson was injured against Florida in the SEC Championship, and Owens played well in the college football playoff. In 2021, Owens could take over as the full-time center for the Crimson Tide.

14. BYU image James Empey, C, BYU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 289.
Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
Projected Round (2022): 7-FA
View Ranking History

4/26/22: Empey was a decent player for BYU, but he needs to add strength for the NFL.

7/3/21: Empey has been a good center for BYU over the past few seasons and did a nice job of protecting Zach Wilson in 2020. He is dependable in the ground game and in pass protection. It was his second season as a starter after earning the starting center spot for his redshirt freshman season. His father, Mike, has coached the offensive line and tight ends at BYU.

2022 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P

2024 NFL Draft Position Rankings:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | NT | 3-4 OLB | 3-4 DE | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K | P


2023 NFL Mock Draft - March 24

2024 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 19

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 17

NFL Picks - Feb. 14

Fantasy Football Rankings - Sept. 7


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