Final 2022 NFL draft projections for Iowa Hawkeyes center Tyler Linderbaum

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is regarded as one of the top center prospects in this 2022 NFL draft set to take place from Las Vegas, Nev., on Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m. There’s a good chance he comes off the board early and becomes the Hawkeyes’ latest first-round NFL draft selection under Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz.

If that’s the case, Linderbaum would represent the 11th Hawkeye to be drafted in the NFL draft’s first round under Ferentz. Linderbaum would be the first for Iowa since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs at No. 13 overall in the 2020 NFL draft and the fourth Hawkeye player taken in the first round in the past four drafts. Tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were taken No. 8 and No. 20 overall by the Detroit Lions and the Denver Broncos in the 2019 NFL draft.

Let’s take a look at several of the final 2022 NFL mock drafts and where each have Linderbaum headed.

CBS Sports, Will Brinson - No. 18 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles

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CBS Sports’ Will Brinson has Linderbaum landing with the Philadelphia Eagles with the No. 18 overall pick.

Linderbaum’s highly rated but falling because … people don’t want a center? He gets Jason Kelce comps, so why not grab him to replace … Jason Kelce? – Brinson, CBS Sports.

CBS Sports, Ryan Wilson - No. 20 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers

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CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson also has Linderbaum as a first-round selection with the Pittsburgh Steelers taking Linderbaum No. 20 overall.

The Steelers could go defensive line or wide receiver here but instead take a center, one of their weakest positions a season ago. Yes, the team signed Mason Cole in free agency but he’s not guaranteed to win the job and Linderbaum brings some much-needed stability to the middle of the offensive line. – Wilson, CBS Sports.

ESPN, Matt Miller - No. 29 overall to the Houston Texans

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ESPN’s Matt Miller actually has the Houston Texans trading back with the Kansas City Chiefs. Under Miller’s scenario, the Chiefs move up to No. 13 and select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams and the Texans slide back 16 spots to No. 29 and pick up extra draft capital. After moving back, Miller has Houston drafting Linderbaum No. 29 overall.

Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum has been sliding as of late because of his relatively short arms, but his agility makes up for it on tape. He’s the type of building block the Texans’ interior offensive line needs. – Miller, ESPN.

NBC Sports, Peter King - No. 24 overall to the Dallas Cowboys

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NBC Sports’ Peter King has the Dallas Cowboys selecting Linderbaum No. 24 overall. King seemed a little skeptical about Linderbaum’s lack of positional versatility, but, ultimately, Dallas’ track record for drafting offensive linemen and Iowa’s track record for developing them leads to a first-round match.

Tea leaves pick, because of Dallas’ love of building the offensive line (Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith); because of high regard for Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz; and because Linderbaum is rated consistently the best center and a top-20 overall prospect on many boards. – King, NBC Sports.

FOX Sports, Jason McIntyre - No. 24 overall to the Dallas Cowboys

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FOX Sports’ Jason McIntyre also sees the Dallas Cowboys drafting Linderbaum at No. 24 overall. Again, it’s Iowa’s track record with offensive linemen paving the way for this projection.

Offensive line is a big need for Jerry Jones, and Dallas has to hope the trenches factory that is Iowa delivers with Linderbaum, an All-American center who can also play guard. – McIntyre, FOX Sports.

Touchdown Wire, Doug Farrar - No. 14 overall to the Baltimore Ravens

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While it’s not an official mock draft, Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar put together his list three-round “what I would do” mock draft. Farrar actually has Linderbaum going the highest of any of the previous projections with the Baltimore Ravens scooping up Linderbaum with the No. 14 overall pick.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is well known for (as James Brown once sang) talking loud and saying nothing when talking about upcoming drafts and draft picks. Still, when you go back to DeCosta’s combine press conference, where he’s comparing Linderbaum to former Ravens great and future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda, your ears tend to perk up. Moreover, Linderbaum, who profiles as a more powerful version of Jason Kelce, would be a perfect fit for Baltimore’s diverse offense. – Farrar, Touchdown Wire.

It’s an interesting collection of projections that has Linderbaum landing at anywhere from No. 14 to No. 29 in the 2022 NFL draft’s first round. According to these experts, Linderbaum’s potential landing destinations include the Baltimore Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans.

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