2013 Draft Class Positional Rankings – Center

With starting center Alex Mack a potential free agent in the not too distant future, could the Browns seek an interior lineman looking toward the future?

Browns Need – Low, could grab someone intriguing to them late if they feel they cannot or do not want to re-sign Alex Mack.

1. Jonathon Cooper, C/OG – North Carolina Tarheels – Top 20 Projection

On many boards, Cooper has made the jump over Chance Warmack. I believe the deciding factor in those making that claim has been the work ethic that Cooper has had in the Senior Bowl Practices/Game, the Combine and Pro Day. Warmack seems to have rested on his play alone and has shown a bit of a lack in effort. Cooper can play both Center and Guard at a high level and will be drafted in the first round. Cooper's an explosive and athletic player who does everything at a high level.

2. Brian Schwenke, C – California Golden Bears – Round 2 Projection

I love watching this guy. Turn on the 12' tape vs. Ohio State and watch this young man go to town. He shoots off the snap with explosiveness, yet keeping it channeled and fundamental. Schwenke keeps his hands inside the defender, has a great bend and anchor, and drives defenders out of a hole and jumps into the second level. When getting to the second level, unlike many in this draft, Brian is violent with his second level blocking by knocking LB's and DB's off their feet, allowing ball carriers options and room to run and cut. The other part of Schwenke's game that is very impressive is his ability to position and turn his man out of a hole, showing great feet, control, and strength. Contrary to popular belief, I think Schwenke can play Center in any blocking system, not just a zone scheme.

3. Travis Frederick, C – Wisconsin Badgers – Round 2 Projection

Frederick will have a good NFL Career. Excellent pass blocker, has good footwork and bend. Anchors down, does a nice job keeping his hands inside and pushing defenders opposite play side. Also in the passing game, Frederick does very well picking up the blitz and helping with a chip and sliding back inside to pick up a delayed rush. In run blocking, Travis continues keeping his hands inside the defender and drives his feet through his man consistently keeping them out of the play. One consistent weakness that I saw was him having a tendency to hit the second level and approach defenders very stiff and losing his fundamentals in the defensive backfield. Travis needs to keep playing with that fundamental bend in the second level so he isn't on the ground.

4. Barrett Jones, C/G – Alabama Crimson Tide – Round 3/4 Projection

I like Jones versatility more than anything. As for his play at Center, I find it to be inconsistent. In pass protection, Jones has a tendency to abandon his bend against more athletic DT's causing him to play on his heels and get pushed back into the pocket. In the run game, he is tough at the point, but similar to Frederick, he gets stiff at the second level and gets knocked around. Also, Jones gets his hands outside of the defender, which causes him to lose the strength he could have if his hands were inside and leaves his chest open for an opposing defender to bully him backwards. No doubt, Jones has the potential to be a good NFL C or G, but needs to play with more consistency and get nasty in the trenches.

5. Khaled Holmes, C/G – Southern California Trojans – Round 4 Projection

Holmes is an intriguing prospect, but may be limited to a Zone Scheme. Holmes is a very athletic player with good footwork, good hand play, and is alert in pass protection. Holmes does not play with a good bend and is often driven back into the pocket by bigger tackles. That said, Holmes could very well be transitioned into the Guard position in the NFL.

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