My recent selection of Wisconsin center Peter Konz in the SB Nation Bloggers Mock Draft set off a bit of a discussion here at Big Blue View as to whether center was a position toward which the New York Giants actually should devote a selection in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.
David Baas was far from stellar in his first season with the Giants after signing with the team as a free agent. To be fair, center is a difficult position with the communication required and the lack of an offseason did not make Baas' transition from the San Francisco 49ers an easy one. Plus, Baas did suffer through some injuries that also held him back. Thus, it is possible to say that we have yet to see what Baas is really capable of as the centerpiece of the Giants' line.
Still, while veteran Kevin Boothe has shown he can capably play the position, there is no real Plan B at the center spot. So, let's use today's 2012 NFL Draft Prospect Profile on the player generally considered the No. 2 center in the 2012 NFL Draft class -- Ben Jones of Georgia.
CBS Sports has the 6-foot-3, 303-pound Jones pegged as a third-round selection. CBS says:
Perhaps because of the commonality of his name or the fact that he's been overshadowed by skill position players and even fellow offensive linemen while at Georgia, but few fans realize how highly regarded Jones is in the scouting community. Jones possesses a prototypical NFL frame for the position as well as relatively good athleticism and technique.
A durable, consistent performer Jones started all four seasons of his career with the Bulldogs and looks the part of a long-time NFL starter.
Jones lacks the elite size or athleticism that has forced NFL teams to use first-round picks on centers in recent years. His relatively low "ceiling," could allow him to slip into the middle of the second day. There are few prospects at any position in the 2012 draft, however, with Jones' "floor." He may not be flashy, but should compete for a starting position immediately and has all of the intangibles to maintain that role for a long time.
Wes Bunting of the National Football Post says:
Improved his ability to snap and step this year and quickly get into contact as a run guy, which allowed him to play with more power on contact. Is a coordinated athlete on the move, can mirror through contact and looks like an NFL starter with a little time. But isn't an "elite" center prospect by any stretch.
Sideline Scouting says:
Positives: Good initial quickness; explosive, but doesn't generate much power... Great fundamentals and technique, plays with a good base and low center of gravity... Very good first read step in both the running game and passing game... Seems to have a good knowledge of protection schemes and can snap with the quarterback either under center or from the shotgun, has experience in a pro-style offense.
Negatives: Not an overly impressive player by any right, doesn't really stand out or do anything particularly well... Not as big as you would like him to be, shorter than ideal arms and small hands, doesn't have elite size or overall athleticism... Not an incredible run blocker by any stretch of the imagination.
Ben Jones Profile
40 time: 5.44
Complete List Of Profiles
Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Mychal Kendricks, MLB, California
Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State
Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Sean Spence, OLB, Miami
Mitchell Schwartz, OT, Cal
LaVonte David, OLB, Nebraska
James-Michael Johnson, MLB, Nevada
Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina
George Iloka, S, Boise State
Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Nate Potter, OT, Boise State
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Vontaze Burfict, MLB, Arizona State
Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest
Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Kelcie McCray, SS, Arkansas State
Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami (Ohio)
Senio Kelemete, OG, Washington
Chris Polk, RB, Washington
Amini Solatolu, OG, Midwestern State
Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
Harrison Smith, SS, Notre Dame
Desmond Wynn, OG, Rutgers
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State
Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas
Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Dont'a Hightower, MLB, Alabama
Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson