While offensive tackles and guards get all the attention in the NFL Draft, the one position that tends to be ignored year after year is center. This year one of my favorites at center is California Bears center Brian Schwenke. Schwenke was the anchor of the Bears offensive this year, making sure his fellow lineman were set and . He wasn’t well known after the season started but after a great performance at the Senior Bowl.
6′ 3″ 307 lbs.
Brian Schwenke may not have great size but he makes up for it with his physical style of play and lower body strength. He is able to anchor himself in the ground and fight off bigger opponents. What I really love about Schwenke is his physical style of play, he isn’t afraid to get chippy.
As a center, Schwenke was the commander of the Cal Bears offensive line. He helped make sure everyone knew what the play was, and what their assignments were. He is a smart player, who can identify what the defense is trying to do and relay that to his teammates. Being a leader on the offensive line is something that NFL teams love to have and Schwenke can provide them just that.
While Schwenke played the 2012 season at center for California, he spent much of the 2011 season at guard. He has the versatility to play both positions and give a team solid production. If he is put in the right system, Schwenke can be a starting center for the next decade.
While Schwenke has proven size isn’t everything, being only 6′ 3″ will be a problem in the NFL. Schwenke was a small center for college standards and will face an even bigger challenge at the next level. He can battle against bigger opponents, but questions remain if he can do it on a consistent basis.
When watching Schwenke it becomes evidently clear that he is a scheme-dependent player. In order for him to maximize on his success he has to be drafted into a zone-blocking scheme. His athleticism and intelligence to read the defensive line and react. In any other scheme he will likely struggle and not reach his true potential.
As I watch more of Brian Schwenke I really start to believe he can be a starting center in the NFL. He doesn’t have the prototypical size you would like to play the position but he does the little things that really make a quality football player. Right now he projects as a 3rd Round pick who will develop into a starting center for the next decade.
Brian Schwenke Highlights