With the difficult duty of making protection calls and then executing them, centers are in a difficult (and often under-appreciated) position.
The best are well-rounded in their run- and pass-blocking, as well as smart enough to diagnose a defense and make the correct pre-snap adjustments.
Geno Smith, he was given time in the pocket. He was given 3.10 seconds in the pocket to throw (second longest in the NFL), 2.79 seconds to attempt a throw (second) and 4.28 seconds until a sack (first), according to Pro Football Focus. Still, the Jets had the 32nd-ranked passing attack, so it’s no wonder Smith received so much criticism. And the Jets had the No. 2-ranked rushing attack. Mangold deserves his Pro Bowl accolades.
Tony Romo ranked in the top 10 for most time to throw, to attempt a throw and until a sack, according to PFF, and Frederick earned Pro Bowl honors in 2014. The Cowboys had the second-ranked rushing offense and the seventh-ranked offense overall as Frederick directed a strong offensive line in Dallas.
Chip Kelly’s high-paced offense. Other players and coaches apparently appreciated that, too, as Kelce was voted as a Pro Bowl player. His forte was in run blocking and that could be an even bigger deal this year with the addition of DeMarco Murray (and possibly a more straight-ahead attack) in the Eagles backfield.
Honorable mention: Alex Mack, Max Unger, Ryan Kalil, John Sullivan, Mike Pouncey.
NFL’s top 5 centers for 2015
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