The 2003 Draft - We're Ready! Are You?

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 26 & 27th. That doesn't mean it's too early to take a look at the top players coming out of college this year. Here at The Insiders, and in conjunction with our resident NFL Draft expert - Tony Pauline from TFY Draft Preview - we will be bringing TOTAL ACCESS PASS members a full dose of player rankings by position over the next two weeks.<BR><BR>First up, the men in the middle of the offensive line, centers...

1. Jeff Faine / Notre Dame

OC-Jeff Faine<br>Photo:Getty Images "The Irish are known for tough, slug-it-out linemen up front that dominate opponents. In Jeff Faine they have one that also plays a brilliant brand of football." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 290 40: 5.23 Year: 4Jr Number: 52

Scouting Report:
The Good:
Tough, intelligent player on the pivot that's displayed a steady line of progression the past two years. Quick off the snap, explodes into his blocks and uses good body positioning to turn opponents out of the play. Works his blocks, keeps his feet moving and gives top effort, trying to bury defenders. Aware of his assignments, alert and a leader on the offensive line.

The Bad:
Lacks bulk and may need a little help on the inside. Only adequate skills in space or blocking on the second level.

The Skinny:
May not have the great upside potential but a prospect that could immediately be productive at the next level based on his knowledge of the position and way he approaches the game.

Projected order in draft:
Early 3rd round.


2. Al Johnson / Wisconsin

Al Johnson "The Wisconsin Badger program has put talented offensive linemen into the NFL by the boatload and unlike some of their other prospects, for the most part the blockers up front live up to or exceed expectations. Especially at center, and Al Johnson is next to carry that torch." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-4 Wt: 300 40: 5.15 Year: 5Sr Number: 64

Scouting Report:
The Good: Powerful interior player on the pivot, upholding the Badgers trend of solid center prospects. Quick off the mark or when setting in pass protection, blocks with forward lean and smart. Picks up his assignments, stays with the play and viciously attacks opponents, working to finish off defenders. Quick with his hands, extends his arms and stays square, displaying strength in his upper body.

The Bad:
Bends at the waist, lacks body adjustment and lateral range. Not effective blocking on the move. Strong at the point but does not show great pop or jolt into defenders.

The Skinny:
Displayed a solid line of progress the past two season which leads one to believe he has a good amount of upside for the next level.

Projected order in draft: Middle 3rd round.


3. Dan Koppen / Boston College

Dan Koppen "The Boston College Eagles have a recent history of putting rough-n-tumble offensive linemen into the draft; Doug Brzezinski, Paul Zukauskas and Marc Colombo are just a few names on this list. Dan Koppen would be next." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview




Ht: 6-2.5 Wt: 300 40: 5.40 Year: 5Sr Number: 77

Scouting Report:
The Good:
Tough, nasty lineman that works hard on the pivot. Quick off the snap into his blocks, powerful upper body and turns defenders out of the middle for the run as well as anchoring in pass protection. Fights with his hands, keeps his feet moving throughout the play and works to finish off opponents, staying with the action. Efficient and plays with balance.

The Bad: Not a nimble or agile lineman nor overly effective in space. Lacks bulk and the dominant base.

The Skinny: Needs time but could eventually develop into a starter at the next level and his work ethic gives him a major advantage.

Projected order in draft: Middle 4th round.


4. Brett Romberg / Miami - Fl

Brett Romberg

There has been no shortage of talented linemen coming from the Miami program which is not a surprise; someone has got to block for all those sensational running backs and give the quarterback time to toss the ball to the great receivers they produce. But how does the man in the middle project to the next level?" Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview


Ht: 6-2 Wt:290 40: 5.25 Year: 5Sr Number: 66

Scouting Report:
The Good:
Heady, tough collegiate center. Quick thinking, immediately picks up blocking assignments or recognizes defensive stunts and twists. Explodes into his blocks, displays solid footwork and the ability to play in space. Effective on the move, readjusts nicely and uses good body positioning to take defenders out of the play. Shotgun snaps are on the mark.

The Bad:
Not big or bulky, lacks the dominant base and has difficulty turning opponents out of the middle. Has trouble if/when a big thumper lines up over him.

The Skinny:
Much like former countryman and teammate Richard Mercier; quick, smart and hard working but does not posses the great upside for the next level.

Projected order in draft:
Middle 5th round.


5. Austin King / Northwestern

Austin King "Every once and a while, during the scouting process there are always a few players that stands out to you on film; a hard working prospect that, though not the most dominant, constantly gives a honest days effort day-in and day-out and one you find yourself rooting for. Austin King has been one of those players for us the past two years." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Ht: 6-3.5 Wt:295 40:5.21 Year: 4Sr Number: 62

Scouting Report:
The Good:
Quick, fundamentally sound center that gets the job done on the pivot. Explosive off the snap, plays with forward lean, leverage and stays low throughout the action. Quick setting in pass protection, gets his hands into the opponent and works very hard throughout the play, blocking with a nasty attitude. Effective when he must kick out or pull, walls off his blocks nicely and uses solid body positioning to take defenders out of the play.

The Bad:
Not big, bulky or strong. Has difficulty handling one-on-one blocking assignments at times and his lack of pure power causes him to play off balance. May have size limitations and does not have the frame to add much more bulk.

The Skinny:
Were he one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier a premiere prospect but the way it presently stands, a late round choice based on size/strength concerns. A real "throwback" that can start if someone gives him the opportunity. Tenacity, intelligence and general feel for the position will make him successful at the next level.

Projected order in draft:
Middle 6th round.

To view the entire list of centers available for the 2003 NFL Draft,
click here.

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