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- American football center
As things stand right now, the Giants have two picks in the Top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft, making them extremely important for this current rebuild.
With that in mind, we’re taking an in-depth look at some potential options for Big Blue with these picks, continuing with Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum.
By The Numbers
- Height: 6-foot-3
- Weight: 290 pounds
- 40-yard Dash: Estimated at 5.15 seconds
- Vertical: TBD
- Accolades & Awards: 2021 Rimington Trophy (best center) recipient, 2021 First Team All-America, 2020 Rimington Trophy finalist, 2020 First Team All-America, 2020 First Team All-Big Ten
The Draft Network: It does not appear as though Linderbaum has the functional skill set to be a positionally flexible player—I consider him a center-exclusive prospect coming out of Iowa, which may temper his value in the eyes of teams at the top of the NFL draft order. But for the product that you’re investing in, you’ll likely find Linderbaum to be well worth the cost. He is a highly polished, highly cerebral and dynamic weapon on the offensive line that presents some unique traits that could make him a game-changer in the middle of your offensive front. Coming into Linderbaum’s evaluation, I expected to regard him as a wide-zone-exclusive fit that would make sense for the coaches off the Shanahan tree. But in reality, Linderbaum offers better functional strength than some of his contemporaries, such as former NC State center Garrett Bradbury (2019 NFL Draft, Minnesota Vikings).
Pro Football Network: The first thing that stands out about Linderbaum when you turn on the tape is his athleticism. He explodes out of his stance with exceptional fluidity. Once he’s out of his stance, he’s always moving, always on his feet. Linderbaum gets out to the second level exceptionally well in the run game, easily outpacing his compatriots on the offensive line. For a guy who is listed at 289 pounds, he demonstrates phenomenal play speed. Whether you are an offensive line expert or an untrained eye, the other thing that stands out is Linderbaum’s competitive toughness. The Iowa OC plays hards on every single play. He looks to finish his opponent on every snap, leading to some impressive takedowns away from the action.
Why Linderbaum makes sense for the Giants
The tackle position is likely what the Giants want to target first (Evan Neal or Charles Cross makes tons of sense). But what if the Bears' first-round pick that the Giants own slips farther down the list after the final week?
Linderbaum is easily the best center in college football, and landed the Rimington Trophy to prove just that. He's already earned First Team All-America and arguably the best lineman in a competitive Big Ten.
But one of the main reasons Linderbaum makes sense is due to his ability to block in the pass. Despite his size, he's nimble and technically sound up the middle, and the Giants desperately need shore things up on the line that can give Daniel Jones time in the pocket.
Also, Nick Gates is still recovering from his gruesome leg injury, so Linderbaum could slide in and develop chemistry right away with Jones. If Gates does come back and wins his center position again, some scouts believe Linderbaum can shift to one of the guard positions -- two positions that have been exceptionally bad for the Giants during the 2021 season.
Either way, he's shown tremendous skill in pass protection and his run game blocking is good, too. He'd be an anchor of the line for years to come, and it would be perfect sense for New York -- as long as the draft pick isn't too high.
The Draft Network: Eagles C Jason Kelce