It's no secret that we need to bring in a young center to fortify our o-line. It's on most everybody's wish list. Granted my memory is not as sharp as a few years ago and I only remember 2 being drafted in the first round. Mangold to the Jet's and Pouncey last year. I am not a pro talent evaluator but I haven't seen much to indicate that there is a center who should be drafted in the first.
But let's talk about the center position In this league of 3-4 and 4-3 defenses, and sometimes of late a 2 man interior front, you almost need to design separate guys for that spot. Throw in a couple of different types of blocking schemes and next thing you know the skill set diverges. So what we are looking for is a well built center who is not to tall or long armed with great upper and lower body strength with good agility and quickness. Not as easy as most think.
One thing that is overlooked by many is the intelligence needed to play center, which may be the most challenging position on the o-line. He is like a coach on the field; he has to analyze the d-line movement, call adjustments, make a good snap( the only player to handle the ball as much as the qb), be able to reset his hands quickly to block on the 3-4, or move into space to take on a lb. It ain't easy to do cuase you have to do much of this in the time it takes to sneeze.
Another factor is an ability to withstand the rigors of constant collisions with 300 pound plus defensive lineman. The constant pounding takes a toll over the season which we have seen the results of with our 2 centers the last couple of years. To sore to keep in top condition from the pounding, many centers lose muscle mass as they are not able to hit the weights due to needing to recover from the weekly pounding.
So it's fair to say that getting most of these qualities in 1 package is a difficult task. A few centers in the league are undrafted free agents who needed time to develop. Generally, drafted centers need time to develop as well. I thought we would see a platooning of centers last year but it did not happen. I know most think that's a far out there thought, but I could see it happen someday.
So I think a center is needed to be groomed here on our team and hope Pioli finds one in this draft. Just not in the early rounds. Maybe Pioli has his eye on some other teams practice squad center. Maybe there are plans to try and make a center out of somebody already on our team. Go Chief's!!!