Football

Rating the top centers in the NFL Draft

Florida State offensive tackle Cameron Erving protected possible No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston last season.
Florida State offensive tackle Cameron Erving protected possible No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston last season. The Associated Press

1. Cameron Erving, 6-5, 313, Florida State

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 55 career games. Turns 23 this year. 34 1/8-inch arms. 10 3/8-inch hands. 5.15 40-yard dash. 30 bench reps. 30.5-inch vertical. 112-inch broad jump. 7.48 3-cone drill. 4.63 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Very long for a center. Has good bend. Can mirror pass rushers with good feet. Converted tackle. Can get to the second level. Can make reach blocks and is big and athletic enough to turn and wall a guy off. Has a big base, can anchor decently in pass pro. Only OK athleticism on screens. Is not a nasty guy but generally gets the job done and can generate movement at the point of attack in the running game. Not sure how aware he is on stunts at center. Good get off at the snap. Flexible enough to get low in his stance in pass pro. Aware as a run blocker; on zone runs he’ll peel off to pick up blitzing backer to create gaps. Wish he showed more pop/effort at the second level and in space. Wish he showed more of a mean streak but will protect his guy - ran over to clean the pile off a gang tackle vs Oregon and was first OL there. Has a powerful punch — shoves guys to the ground a lot. Needs to keep his feet moving in pass pro. Long arms could be an issue in the trenches — squatty guys could get into his body quicker — but has more than enough ability to play guard if center doesn’t work out.

Grade: 6.8

Story: Midseason switch to center boosts draft stock of Florida State’s Cameron Erving

2. Ali Marpet, 6-4, 307, Hobart

Bio: Three-year starter and captain who played in 43 career games. Turned 22 this year. 32 7/8-inch arms. 10 1/8-inch hands. 4.98 40-yard dash. 30 bench reps. 30.5-inch vertical. 108-inch broad jump. 7.33 3-cone drill. 4.47 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Workout warrior and college tackle who looked smooth and athletic in combine movement drills. Looks very athletic on tape; has more than enough athleticism to get to the second level in the pros and has a high ceiling for teams that use a zone run-blocking scheme. Level of competition is a concern and will need an adjustment period but held his own at the Senior Bowl and is a smart kid with some legit physical skills. Plays with some attitude; likes to finish.

Grade: 6.6

3. Hroniss Grasu, 6-3, 297, Oregon

Bio: Four-year starter and captain who started 52 games. Turns 24 this year. 32 1/8-inch arms. 10 1/4-inch hands. 5.01 40-yard dash. 7.84 3-cone drill. 4.20 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Is old for a prospect. Experienced, productive football player. Adequate bulk; strength can still improve. Very good awareness on stunts — keeps his head on a swivel and can pick them up. Does a nice job getting to the second level and locking onto defenders. Is not a mauler and doesn’t have an overpowering jolt but has strong hands, locks on well, consistently walls off his man and executes his assignment. Looks like an ideal fit for a West Coast Offense. Would have a second-round grade if it were not for his medical concerns; has dealt with ankle, wrist and pec injuries and was limited at the combine and his pro day.

Grade: 6.5

4. Andy Gallik, 6-2, 306, Boston College

Bio: Three-year starter and captain who played in 46 career games. Turns 24 this year. 32 3/4-inch arms. 10 1/4-inch hands. 5.50 40-yard dash. 29 bench reps. 27-inch vertical. 96-inch broad jump. 7.66 3-cone drill. 4.58 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Is old for a prospect. Big body who has good anchor strength and a jolt at the point of attack; possesses heavy hands and is a finisher. Waist bender who lunges at the second level but has good initial burst off the snap and the short-area quickness to be effective in a zone scheme. Is a better field athlete than his test numbers would indicate.

Grade: 6.3

5. Greg Mancz, 6-4, 301, Toledo

Bio: Four-year starter and captain who played in 50 career games. Turned 23 this year. 32 3/8-inch arms. 10-inch hands.

Evaluation: College guard with medical concerns; did not work out at the combine with a right shoulder injury he suffered at the East-West Shrine Game that led to his third shoulder operation. Decent athlete who can reach nose tackles, get to the second level and pull. Isn’t a mauler and needs to get stronger but carries out his assignment. Aware in pass pro; keeps head on a swivel. Has versatility; has played all three offensive line positions and has the look of a potential starter in a zone-blocking scheme down the road.

Grade: 6.2

6. Max Garcia, 6-4, 309, Florida

Bio: Transferred from Maryland. Two-year starter and captain at Florida who played in 39 career games year. 32 3/4-inch arms. 10 1/4-inch hands. 5.13 40-yard dash. 28-inch vertical. 102-inch broad jump. 8.18 3-cone drill. 5.13 20-yard shuttle. Did not bench at the combine due to a pec injury.

Evaluation: Good size and only okay athleticism to get to the second level. Has good strength, which shows in pass pro, but needs to develop in this area in the running game; can be shed. Waist bender who struggles to locate targets, lunges a lot at the second level and is generally on the ground too much. Plays with an attitude — isn’t afraid to get a little chippy. Likes to finish. Is very versatile; started at center, guard and tackle at Florida. Good football player who probably projects best in a man/gap blocking scheme.

Grade: 6.1

7. B.J. Finney, 6-4, 318, Kansas State

Bio: Four-year starter and captain who started 52 straight career games. Turns 24 this year. 32-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 5.25 40-yard dash. 20 bench reps. 24-inch vertical. 99-inch broad jump. 4.76 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Is old for a prospect. Solid, productive four-year starter. Has good size. Is a limited athlete; phone booth player who would be best served in a man-blocking scheme. Not burst off the snap and can be stressed by initial burst but has strong hands and good anchor strength in pass pro. Struggles to lock up and locate targets at the second level. Is smart and tough. Has a wrestling background, which shows on tape in close quarters.

Grade: 6.1

8. Shaq Mason, 6-1, 300, Georgia Tech

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 52 career games. Turns 22 this year. 31 1/4-inch arms. 9 1/2-inch hands. 4.97 40-yard dash. 25 bench reps. 32-inch vertical. 110-inch broad jump. 7.53 3-cone drill.

Evaluation: Short, converted guard with short arms (31 1/8) and small hands (9 1/2) that cause issues at the next level. That means he’ll have to play center at the next level. Plays his ass off — great hustle. Very quick off the ball and getting to the second level. Has a violent punch — guys go backwards when he hits them — and plays with an attitude. Not sure about his stance — he’s up on his toes some and is forward leaning. Will occasionally fall of blocks, presumably due to stance and lack of length. Is experienced at cutting in space and knows how to beat his defender to his gap. Generates movement at the point of attack. Plays with a good base, can mirror in pass pro. Not sure how adept he is at picking up stunts — didn’t do much pass pro, all have to gain experience in this area. Will likely need a developmental year.

Grade: 6.0

9. David Andrews, 6-2, 294, Georgia

Bio: Three-year starter who played in 50 career games. Turns 23 this year. 31 7/8-inch arms. 10-inch hands. 5.12 40-yard dash. 27 bench reps. 30-inch vertical. 108-inch broad jump.

Evaluation: Bit of a lumberer despite sub-300-pound frame but generates movement at the point of attack in the running game with good power and leverage and has good initial burst off the snap. Needs to build up his anchor strength in pass pro to keep from getting walked back. Generally can be relied upon to execute his assignment. Is a fit for a zone-running scheme.

Grade: 6.0

10. Reese Dismukes, 6-3, 296, Auburn

Bio: Four-year starter who played in 50 career games. Turns 23 this year. 32 1/4-inch arms. 8 7/8-inch hands. 5.31 40-yard dash. 23 bench reps. 27.5-inch vertical. 107-inch broad jump. 8.14 3-cone drill. 4.70 20-yard shuttle.

Evaluation: Won the Rimington Trophy in 2014 as the nation’s most outstanding center. Often stands straight up after snapping the ball on running plays. Athletic enough to get to the second level; does a nice job locating targets and finishing. Occasionally stops moving his feet on contact. Surprisingly small hands — could have difficulty controlling defenders. Generates a little bit of movement in running game but doesn’t have an overpowering jolt.

Grade: 6.0

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @TerezPaylor.

GRADING SCALE

7.5-7.1: Top 10 pick

7.0: 11-20

6.9: 21-32

6.8: Top half of the second

6.7: Bottom half of the second

6.6: Top half of the third

6.5: Bottom half of the third

6.4: Fourth-round pick

6.3: Fifth-round pick

6.2: Sixth-round pick

6.1: Seventh-round pick

6.0: Priority free agent

NOTE: All rankings are based on a combination of extensive personal film study, interviews conducted with draft analysts and information gleaned from NFL Network draft broadcasts. Evaluations are cross-checked with multiple draft resources. Measurements and testing results are from the combine and pro days, according to NFL.com. Grades are assigned based on where The Star believes the Chiefs should take each player, based on their needs and scheme fit.

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