Updated: Feb 22, 2021
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Now that 9-time Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey has officially decided to retire, the Steelers find themselves firmly in the market for a new center in 2021-2022. Given the club's well documented salary cap limitations, the draft appears to be the most practical place for the Steelers to find a center, likely within the first few rounds. From now until the draft we'll be taking a deep dive into prospects at position groups the Steelers will likely be drafting. Here's an introduction to some of the centers that Pittsburgh could consider early on.
1. Landon Dickerson, Alabama
Dickerson is a massive man who is a high-character prospect and plays with extreme physicality. The knock on Dickerson is his injury history- he had three of his college seasons cut short due to knee and ankle injuries, including a torn ACL last season. If not for these injuries, Dickerson would potentially be a slam dunk for the top 20 of the draft.
Still, Dickerson won last season's Rimington Award as the nation's top center and has experience as a guard. While he is not an overly athletic lineman, Dickerson is strong at the point of attack and is a firm anchor in the run game. He uses his massive frame well and has good footwork which allows him to move interior defenders. Dickerson will likely be selected in the back end of the first round or the beginning of the second round, making him a prime candidate for the Steelers.
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2. Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
Many consider Humphrey the top center prospect in the draft. Compared to Dickerson, Humphrey is just a tad lighter and more athletic, with a noted high school wrestling background. This past season, Humphrey was named first team All- Big 12 and did not allow a single sack (for the second straight season).
Check out how strong Humphrey is at the point of attack.
Humphrey is a high-IQ pass blocker who would likely fit very well in Matt Canada's offense. He was the center for Kyler Murray during his Heisman campaign, showing that he's comfortable in the shotgun and can be used as a puller when need be. He's certainly a name that will be linked to the Steelers as April approaches.
3. Josh Myers, Ohio State
Myers is another player who shifted from guard to center. Myers is most known for his abilities in the run game, where he uses his long arms and thick frame to create leverage and open lanes. Watch him make his way to the second level and clear the lane with excellent hand power. Myers has a strong base that allows him to win consistently in a phone booth.
Myers is viewed to be behind Dickerson and Humphrey because of lesser athleticism. There are concerns about his ceiling and whether he has already come close to maximizing his physical tools, so if the Steelers select him it'll likely be on Day 2 of the draft.
4. Trey Hill, Georgia
Hill is another mountain of man. His 330 lb frame sets a good anchor in the pass game and allows him to eat up interior rushers 1 on 1. Power is his calling card, as Hill packs a mean punch and is capable of moving bodies in the run game. Hill can absorb defenders at the first level and played well against SEC competition all season.
Knocks on Hill include question marks about his durability, his athleticism at the second level, and movement in space. Hill is likely a Day 2 pick.