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Draft Snapshot: 10 Centers & Guards to Watch

Posted Apr 21, 2018

The 2018 NFL Draft is less than a week away.

One of the league’s most important events kicks off with the first round at 7 p.m. (CT) on April 26 in Dallas. The second and third rounds will be held on April 27 and begin at 6 p.m. (CT). Round 4 will start at 11 a.m. (CT) on April 28 and be followed by Rounds 5-7.

The Vikings currently have eight selections in the draft, beginning with the 30th overall pick.

Vikings.com is taking a glance at the top prospects at each position leading up to the draft.

Schedule

April 16: Quarterbacks

April 17: Running backs

April 18: Receivers

April 19: Tight ends

April 20: Tackles

April 21: Interior Offensive Linemen

April 22: Defensive tackles

April 23: Defensive ends

April 24: Linebackers

April 25: Cornerbacks

April 26: Safeties

Where the Vikings Stand

The Vikings shuffled the deck on the offensive line last offseason and benefited from changes. Minnesota moved Joe Berger, who recently retired, to right guard and inserted Nick Easton at left guard after drafting center Pat Elflein in the third round.

Easton and Elflein helped the Vikings implement more screens in the passing game, which was a major point of emphasis during 2017. Berger provided a solid level of experience in what became his final season, helping Minnesota go 13-3 for the second-most wins in a Vikings regular season.

Easton and Elflein both suffered injuries down the stretch and have spent their offseasons rehabbing.  In the meantime, the Vikings have signed center Josh Andrews and guard Tom Compton during free agency.

Minnesota also has center Cornelius Edison and guard Danny Isidora, a 2017 draft pick, returning in 2018.

Recent Draft History (over past five years)

Total number of interior offensive linemen drafted: 111 (30 centers, 67 guards, 14 flex)

Round 1: 3 centers, 7 guards

Round 2: 2 centers, 8 guards, 1 interior offensive lineman

Round 3: 6 centers, 13 guards, 2 interior offensive linemen

Round 4: 7 centers, 13 guards, 2 interior offensive linemen

Round 5: 2 centers, 12 guards, 3 interior offensive linemen

Round 6: 6 centers, 8 guards, 4 interior offensive linemen

Round 7: 4 centers, 6 guards 2 interior offensive linemen

The Prospects (based on rankings by CBS Sports)


Centers

1. Frank Ragnow

Arkansas, Senior, 6-foot-5, 312 pounds

Combine numbers

Bench press: 26 reps of 225 pounds

Note: Ragnow did not participate in other timing and testing drills.

2017: received grade of 93.7 from Pro Football Focus to lead all FBS offensive linemen; allowed one pressure on 255 pass blocking snaps; finished career without allowing a sack; started all seven games played

2. James Daniels

Iowa, Junior, 6-foot-3, 306 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: did not participate

Bench press: 21 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 30.5 inches (tied for sixth among offensive linemen)

Broad jump: 9 feet (tied for 10th among offensive linemen)

3-cone drill: 7.29 seconds (second among offensive linemen)

20-yard shuttle: 4.4 seconds (first among offensive linemen)

2017: started 12 games; All-Big Ten Honorable Mention

3. Billy Price

Ohio State, Senior, 6-foot-4, 305 pounds

Combine numbers

Note: Price suffered a torn pec during the bench press and was unable to participate in other timing and testing drills.

2017: won Rimington Trophy (top center in college football — which was won by Vikings 2017 third-round pick Pat Elflein last season); started 14 games to tie Elflein’s school record of 55 career starts; unanimous All-American; Big Ten’s Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year

4. Bradley Bozeman

Alabama, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-5, 296 pounds (from weigh-in at Alabama’s Pro Day)

Combine numbers

Note: Bozeman was not invited to the combine.

2017: played in 14 games, allowing just two sacks and four pressures on the season; First-Team All-SEC by Associated Press; Second-Team All-SEC by coaches

5. Austin Corbett

Nevada, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 305 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.15 seconds (tied for eighth among offensive linemen)

Bench press: 19 reps of 225 pounds

Vertical jump: 28 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 10 inches

3-cone drill: 7.87 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.50 seconds (tied for fourth among offensive linemen)

2017: started all 12 games; didn’t allow a sack in a conference game; All-Mountain West First-Team selection by coaches

Guards

1. Quenton Nelson

Notre Dame, Redshirt junior, 6-foot-5, 329 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: did not participate

Bench press: 35 reps of 225 pounds (tied for second among offensive linemen)

Vertical jump: 26.5 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 9 inches

3-cone drill: 7.65 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.62 seconds (seventh among offensive linemen)

2017: consensus All-American; team captain; started 13 games

2. Isaiah Wynn

Georgia, Senior, 6-foot-3, 313 pounds

Combine numbers

Note: Wynn did not participate in timing and testing drills at the combine.

2017: Second-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC selection in 2017; started all 15 games, helping Georgia advance to the College Football Playoff title game

3. Will Hernandez

Texas-El Paso, Senior, 6-foot-2, 327 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.15 seconds (tied for eighth among offensive linemen)

Bench press: 37 reps of 225 pounds (first among offensive linemen)

Vertical jump: 24 inches

Broad jump: 8 feet, 8 inches

3-cone drill: 7.59 seconds (seventh among offensive linemen)

20-yard shuttle: 4.7 seconds

2017: started all 12 games at left guard; Second-Team All-America selection by Associated Press, becoming sixth player in school history to garner All-America honors; All-Conference USA First Team for second consecutive season

4. Braden Smith

Auburn, Senior, 6-foot-6, 315 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.22 seconds

Bench press: 35 reps of 225 pounds (tied for second among offensive linemen)

Vertical jump: 33.5 inches (tied for second among offensive linemen)

Broad jump: 9 feet, 5 inches (tied for third among offensive linemen)

3-cone drill: did not participate

20-yard shuttle: 4.77 seconds

2017: First-Team All-American and First-Team All-SEC selection; started all 14 games

5. Wyatt Teller

Virginia Tech, Redshirt senior, 6-foot-4, 314 pounds

Combine numbers

40-yard dash: 5.24 seconds

Bench press: 30 reps of 225 pounds (fifth among offensive linemen)

Vertical jump: 29 inches

Broad jump: 9 feet, 6 inches (second among offensive linemen)

3-cone drill: 7.45 seconds (fifth among offensive linemen)

20-yard shuttle: 4.84 seconds

2017: started 13 games; named to All-ACC First Team by coaches