BearsBeat.com 2009 Draft Board: Centers

April 12th, 2009 - 12:00 am

Here’s a look at how I feel about the 2009 center prospects. Tackles, guards, and centers may be used interchangeably due to uncertainty of which position the prospect will play in the NFL. The order may change as draft day nears.

1. Alex Mack – California
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 311 | 40-time: 5.10
What I like about him: Some feel he is one of the best offensive linemen — at any position — in the draft. Good agility for his size. He’s plays tough and nasty and always finishes a play. Some compare him to Olin Kreutz.
What I don’t like about him: Can play out of control at times, doesn’t have good recovery skills, and struggles with moving targets out in space.


2. Max Unger – Oregon
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 309 | 40-time: 5.30
What I like about him: He’s got good athletic ability and can get to the second level quickly. Used to play left tackle, so he’s versatile. He’s good in pass protection and he’s mentally tough.
What I don’t like about him: He doesn’t have overwhelming power and will not control anybody at the line in that respect. He let’s his pad level rise too high sometimes.


3. Eric Wood – Louisville
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 310 | 40-time: 5.23
What I like about him: He’s known for his ability to block on screen passes and in other open-space situations. He has the ability to take out defenders on the second level. Always works toward finishing his blocks.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have great lateral mobility and relies too much on his upper-body strength. Needs to improve his lower-body strength.


4. Jonathan Luigs – Arkansas
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 302 | 40-time: 5.14
What I like about him: Known for his leadership and smarts. He plays with an edge and shows good agility and explosion off the line.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have ideal lower-body strength. Will get pushed backward at times. Doesn’t have good recovery speed.


5. Antoine Caldwell – Alabama
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 307 | 40-time: 5.16
What I like about him: A versatile player who has played all positions across the line. He’s got very good vision and has been durable throughout his career.
What I don’t like about him: Plays too high at times. More of a finesse player than a power one. Doesn’t have great strength.


6. Edwin Williams – Maryland
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 308 | 40-time: 5.47
What I like about him: He’s a good leader who plays with power and anchors well in pass protection.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have great agility or foot speed. He lacks explosiveness and can’t get to the second level quick enough.


7. A.Q. Shipley – Penn State
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 304 | 40-time: 5.23
What I like about him: Engages in his blocks quickly, which allows him to gain leverage. Very competitive and a smart player for a big program.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have the desired arm length. Needs help in pass protection. Doesn’t have great explosion.


8. Blake Schlueter – Texas Christian
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 286 | 40-time: 4.88
What I like about him: Good agility and versatility. He’s got good recognition and balance and plays with toughness.
What I don’t like about him: Lacks ideal size. Needs to add bulk so as not to get pushed around by bigger defensive linemen in the NFL.


9. Brett Helms – Louisiana State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 286 | 40-time: 4.90
What I like about him: Aggressive player who plays with passion and intensity. He’s got great technique and can get to the second level.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t have good size or arm length, two deadly problems for an offensive lineman. Needs to get lower on his blocks.


10. Cecil Newton – Tennessee State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 294 | 40-time: 5.15
What I like about him: A dominant player at his level, he’s got good mobility and great athleticism. He’s good at getting to the next level on misdirection plays.
What I don’t like about him: Didn’t play against great competition. Needs to improve his strength, particularly in the lower body, because he lacks power and explosion.


11. Jon Cooper – Oklahoma
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 291 | 40-time: 5.18
What I like about him: He’s a good leader who plays to every whistle. He’s smart and has good recognition and will take proper angles.
What I don’t like about him: He’s probably too small and his lower-body strength doesn’t match that of his upper body. If hit hard, he could be knocked off-balance.


12. Alex Fletcher – Stanford
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 297 | 40-time: 5.35
What I like about him: He’s got good pass protection skills and is surprisingly quick for his size. He uses his hands well.
What I don’t like about him: Doesn’t possess great strength and will probably struggle to adapt to the speed of the NFL.


Others:
Daniel Sanders – Colorado
Jake Griffin – South Florida
Jonathan St.-Pierre – Illinois State
Juan Garcia – Washington
Michael Parenton – Tulane
Mike Dent – West Virginia
Phillip Beliles – Memphis
Rob Bruggeman – Iowa
Robby Felix – UTEP
Ryan McDonald – Illinois
Ryan Shuman – Virginia Tech