Updated: Mar 9
(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Kendrick Green experiment at center ended up being a massive failure for the Steelers in 2021. Green had just four career starts at center in college, but the Steelers somehow felt he was a Day 1 starter as a rookie. Many believe Green is better suited for the guard position, even Ben Roethlisberger said so.
With the center position still being a weakness, Pro Football Focus has the Steelers selecting Iowa center Tyler lindenbaum at 20th overall in their latest mock draft. Linderbaum has been linked to the Steelers since the middle of last season. He's the top-rated center in this year's draft and has the mold of what the Steelers are looking for.
The Steelers missed out on Creed Humphrey in last year's draft, but Linderbaum has the potential of being an elite center for a decade-plus, as well.
"The elite center prospect out of Iowa that was consistently landing in the top-10 takes a bit of a slide here because of positional value at center," Brad Spielberger of PFF said. "Over the last three seasons, Linderbaum has been PFF’s No. 1, No. 1, and No. 5 highest-graded center in the country. It’s entirely possible a team ignores positional value and takes a very good football player in Linderbaum earlier, but top center prospects tend to get snatched up around pick No. 20 over the past few years."
According to PFF, Linderbaum allowed just one sack on 733 pass-blocking snaps since 2020.
Historically, the Steelers are known to have great centers, and Linderbaum would continue that tradition and legacy. He would be a plug-and-play starter for the Steelers. However, if Linderbaum is off the board or if the Steelers pass on him, there's a lot of depth at the center position in this year's draft.
"I can't remember a draft where we've had this many guys I think that can plug and play at center," Jeremiah said. "Usually you have two or three of them in a draft, we've got a handful."