Greg Eslinger   OC   Minnesota

Strengths

Greg is the most athletic center to come out for the draft since Kevin Mawae OC of the New Jersey Jets.  He is an excellent pulling center and shows good lateral movement and quickness.  Greg can do combo blocks in his sleep and is quick enough to handle the 1-gap DTís that are causing all sorts of problems in the NFL.  He is smart and by using good techniques and leverage to carry out his blocking assignments, he is able to handle players that are much larger than he is with ease.

 

Needs to Improve

Greg is not as big as most of the centers that come out in the draft, but the truth is, Iím sick and tired of the big, fat boys who canít move and canít make their blocks.  If Greg has a nose guard over him, then put a fullback on the field and give him help!  It just comes down to better coaching.

 

Talent Board Round   3

So many of the O-linemen canít move quickly enough in the NFL and are getting injured.  I would think Greg would be a player that every team would be trying to draft.  Letís face it:  the O-linemen in general are too big and too fat.  The DTís and DEís are going around these guys so fast it looks like a guy in a car passing a kid on a bicycle.  O-linemen all over the NFL are pulling hamstrings and tearing biceps faster then you can make a hickey on your girlfriend's neck.  I think the reason is that the O-lineman are big and strong, but they cannot move quickly enough.  When they try to move quickly, they lose technique and leverage -- then, pop goes the weasel.  The lack of quickness is what's causing the hamstring pulls, the torn biceps and the high ankle sprains.  The lack of quickness is also the reason for a buffet of other assorted leg injuries.  Greg, and linemen the size of Greg, with his athleticism are the answer to keeping linemen healthy and having a more successful offense.  The Denver Broncos are proving this.  Greg will have to learn how to handle the bull rush at the next level and I have no doubt that he will.  You can flip a coin as to whom the best center in this draft is -- Greg or Nick Mangold (Ohio St.).  My thinking is that if Iím in a division that uses a lot of 3-4 defense, then go with Nick; however, either center should be excellent at the next level.

by Drew Boylhart

THR

December 2005