Brandon Linder lands at No. 6 spot of PFF’s center rankings for 2021

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Despite the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 1-15 record in 2020, there are several pieces from last year’s offense who will be a crucial part of getting things right in 2021. Center Brandon Linder is one of them, and as one of the best centers in the NFL, he’ll need to continue his success as Trevor Lawrence is now in town.

Heading into the 2021 season it appears Linder still has the respect he’s worked hard to garner over the last seven years as Pro Football Focus ranked him sixth on their evaluations of the league’s top-32 centers. While he only played in nine games last season, PFF analyst Ben Linsey not only acknowledged him as one of the best centers in the league since his selection but also as the Jags’ top offensive lineman.

6. Brandon Linder, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville’s roster didn’t have a lot going for it in 2020. That tends to be the case for a 1-15 team. Linder, the Jaguars’ top offensive lineman, playing in just nine games was one thing that went wrong. It flew under the radar because he doesn’t have the same Pro Bowl or All-Pro recognition as some other names atop this list, but he has been one of the best centers in the league over the past seven years. The only three centers with a higher PFF grade than Linder (87.4) since he entered the league in 2014 are Travis Frederick, Jason Kelce and Alex Mack.

Of course, as we mentioned above, the key for Linder in 2021 is staying healthy as he’ll have the No. 1 overall pick behind him. He’s missed 34 games since being drafted while starting in 79. Still, even with the injuries, there clearly aren’t many centers fans should want in front of Lawrence aside from Linder. Not to mention he was also the leader of a line that aided James Robinson to a phenomenal rookie season as a rusher.

Despite just playing in nine games, Linder registered a PFF figure of 80 last season. If he can do that in 2021 and play in the range of 13 games or more, it would be huge for Lawrence and the offense who will likely have to lead the team when considering the number of new faces on defense.