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Scouting The 2017 NFL Draft: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State

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With the future of Nick Mangold uncertain, should we turn the offensive line over to another Ohio State star?

National Championship - Oregon v Ohio State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Introduction

Hometown: Pickerington, Ohio

High School: Pickerington North

Recruitment: 3 Stars.

Measurables

Height: 6'3

Weight: 300lb's

Class: Senior

Projected 40 Time: 5.29

Awards

  • First Team All-American (2016)
  • Big Ten Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year (2016)
  • First Team All-Big Ten (Coaches/Media) (2016)
  • Rimington Trophy Winner (2016)

Stats

2012 - Redshirt due to injury.

2013 - Played in 14 games as a reserve.

2014 - Started 15 games as a guard.

2015 - Started all 13 games as a guard.

2016 - Started every game at center.

Positives

  • Great size for the position.
  • Experience playing all three interior line positions.
  • Natural leader who the coaches love.
  • Incredibly smart, will be able to handle line adjustments and blitz pick-up.
  • Was a team captain, respected by his peers.
  • Everyone raves about his incredibly work ethic.
  • Already pro-ready when it comes to run blocking.
  • Powerful lower body allows him to play with excellent drive.
  • Exceptional pull and down blocker.
  • Has very strong hands and sticks to lineman.
  • Works his way to his second target after finishing his first block.
  • FInishes every single play with authority.
  • Provides a good anchor in the middle
  • Background in wrestling allows him to handle power moves inside.
  • Quick to pick up stunts and twists.
  • Extremely successful, knows how to win, and winning is vital.

Negatives

  • Pass protection is good, but not yet elite.
  • Doesn't always play with the best pad level
  • Could improve his footwork off the snap.

Conclusion

It's been a while since we've even had to consider the center position for the Jets, since being drafted in 2006 out of Ohio State, Nick Mangold has been the consistent reliable lineman performing year in and year out. Unfortunately his play deteriorated last year and he was banged up towards the end of the year. The Jets must consider life after Mangold and Pat Elflein in my very humble opinion, is the perfect replacement.

You could plug Pat into the lineup from day one and he's be in the top 15 at his position in year one. I'm pretty confident in saying that. You could play him at guard and he's be comfortable too. He has the intelligence, the balance, the power and the hands to be a starting center in this league for the next 10 years. There is never a guaranteed pick in the NFL, but personally...I'd say this is the safest pick in the draft.

I'd really encourage the Jets to make Elflein a priority in the 2nd round, if he lasts that long, he has 1st round potential...and if Travis Frederick can go in the 1st round, then so can Elflein. In case you haven't already guessed, Elflein is one of my absolute favourite prospects in this draft.

Draft Round Prediction: 1st Round