2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Center



The top 2022 Center prospects available for the 2022 NFL Draft. * - denotes 2022 prospect. ** - denotes 2025 prospect.

This page was last updated Dec. 11, 2021. Follow Walter @walterfootball for updates.

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2021 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

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

Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
  • '19 - Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
1. Iowa image Tyler Linderbaum*, C, Iowa
Height: 6-3. Weight: 290.
Projected 40 Time: 5.1.
Projected Round (2022): 1-2.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Linderbaum is a very polished and well-rounded player. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder plays with good leverage and demonstrates advanced hand placement. He is able to sink his hips to anchor against bull rushes while showing quickness and agility to adjust to speed. Linderbaum looks like a safe pick to become a quality starter in the NFL, and he could be selected in the back half of the first round if he enters the 2022 NFL Draft.





Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU
  • '19 - Garrett Bradbury, N.C. State
2. Wake Forest image Zach Tom, C/OT, Wake Forest
Height: 6-5. Weight: 295.
Projected 40 Time: 5.
Projected Round (2022): 3-4.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Tom has played tackle and center for Wake Forest over the past three seasons and gradually has evolved into a tough blocker at the point of attack. The 6-foot-5, 295-pounder has quality height, but at his weight moving, inside to center could be his best fit for the NFL. Team sources say they've been impressed by Tom this year, and they believe he should man the middle of the line as a pro. They feel Tom could end up being a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
  • '19 - Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State
3. Memphis image Dylan Parham, C, Memphis
Height: 6-3. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 5.3.
Projected Round (2022): 3-5.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Parham has played right tackle and right guard for the Tigers over his solid career. The senior has shown impressive quickness, athleticism and a reliable blocking. 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

  • '20 - Matt Hennessy, Temple
  • '19 - Michael Jordan, Ohio State
4. Texas A&M image Luke Matthews*, C, Texas A&M
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.28.
Projected Round (2022): 3-5.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Matthews was solid in the 2021 opener but ended up losing most of the year to a season-ending injury. Matthews should take a medical redshirt and return to Texas A&M rather than enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

7/3/21: Matthews is the latest in the family line stemming from Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews. Luke Matthews followed brother Jake to Texas A&M, but unlike his brother, Luke Matthews could be more of a candidate to play on the inside of the offensive line at the next level.

Luke Matthews broke into the starting lineup in 2019 after redshirting in 2018. He had a solid debut and showed the skill set to play at guard or center. An injury knocked him out of the 2020 season, but Matthews is receiving a lot of praise about his potential from Jimbo Fisher and other teammates as he takes over as the starting center.





Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Nick Harris, Washington
  • '19 - Connor McGovern, Penn State
5. Texas Tech image Dawson Deaton, C, Texas Tech
Height: 6-5. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: This season, Deaton has been solid, but not overly impressive, for Texas Tech.

7/3/21: Deaton broke into the starting lineup as a redshirt sophomore and quickly established himself as one of the better offensive interior linemen in the Big XII. Deaton has quality size, length and athleticism. It would be good to see him continue to add strength for the NFL. If Deaton stays healthy as a senior, he will enter the NFL with over 30 straight starts and solid experience.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Trystan Colon-Castillo, Missouri
  • '19 - Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama
6. Boston College image Alec Lindstrom, C, Boston College
Height: 6-3. Weight: 302.
Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Lindstrom is okay, 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

  • '20 - Jake Hanson, Oregon
  • '19 - Sean Rawlings, Ole Miss
7. Utah image Nick Ford, C, Utah
Height: 6-3. Weight: 303.
Projected 40 Time: 5.39.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Ford has had a solid season for Utah as a reliable interior blocker. He is 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

  • '20 - Darryl Williams, Mississippi State
  • '19 - Sam Mustipher, Notre Dame
8. Ole Miss image Ben Brown, C/G, Ole Miss
Height: 6-4. Weight: 318.
Projected 40 Time: 5.3.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Brown is starting at right guard for Ole Miss. He has played well against the majority of opponents, although he had some issues with Alabama. He 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

  • '20 - Keith Ismael, San Diego State
  • '19 - Alec Eberle, Florida State
9. Texas image Derek Kerstetter, C/G, Texas
Height: 6-4. Weight: 299.
Projected 40 Time: 5.3.
Projected Round (2022): 4-6.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: 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

  • '20 - Frederick Mauigoa, Washington State
  • '19 - Jesse Burkett, Stanford
10. 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

12/11/21: Allen has been 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.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - T.J. McCoy, Louisville
  • '19 - Sean Krepsz, Nevada
11. Illinois image Doug Kramer, C, Illinois
Height: 6-2. Weight: 306.
Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
Projected Round (2022): 6-FA.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Kramer is 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

  • '20 - Kenny Cooper, Georgia Tech
  • '19 - Jared Weyler, Minnesota
12. Michigan image Andrew Stueber, C/OT, Michigan
Height: 6-6. Weight: 341.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2022): 6-FA.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Stueber has started at center for the Wolverines, and he is currently 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.



Previous Seasons

  • '20 - Zach Shackelford, Texas
13. Washington image Luke Wattenberg, C/G, Washington
Height: 6-4. Weight: 298.
Projected 40 Time: 5.3.
Projected Round (2022): 6-FA.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: 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.



14. 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

12/11/21: 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.





15. BYU image James Empey, C, BYU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 289.
Projected 40 Time: 5.3.
Projected Round (2022): 7-FA.
View Ranking History

12/11/21: Empey has been 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.





2021 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

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





 








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