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Given Jacksonville’s recent struggles, it doesn’t have many top-tier starters on its roster. However, one of the few the team can boast is center Brandon Linder. He’s been one of the NFL’s highest-graded interior linemen since he signed a five-year, $51.7 million extension back in 2017.
That deal made him the richest center in NFL history at the time, and though it has since been surpassed by others, he continues to produce at a high level.
In the rankings of the top-10 interior player in the league from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, which were based on the opinions of anonymous players, coaches and executives, Linder doesn’t appear. But he did receive several top 10 votes, and one AFC scout discussed what they liked about Linder.
Very underrated player,” the scout said. “He has length and good athleticism, savvy. He just plays in Jacksonville, so he doesn’t get much credit.”
The “he just plays in Jacksonville” excuse may not be valid much longer, though. The team drafted a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and hopes to have a solid run game between James Robinson and Travis Etienne, as well. If the team finds offensive success in 2021 and beyond, Linder will be a major reason why.
The eighth-year player certainly doesn’t get the credit he deserves, but that could change if he’s the face of an offensive line that allows Lawrence to have a big-time rookie season.