The only true center among experienced players on the New York Giants’ roster is Brett Jones, the starter. Veteran backup John Greco has played there a little, and Jon Halapio worked there last preseason.
Does that lack of a true backup center mean a player like undrafted free agent Evan Brown has an opportunity to work his way onto the 53-man roster? Let’s take a closer look as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
2017 season in review
Brown did not allow a sack in 2017, giving up just one hit and seven pressures in 515 pass-blocking snaps. Was Honorable Mention All-AAC.
Eleven players whose primary position could end up being center were selected in the draft, while Brown joined the Giants as an undrafted free agent.
Brown, though, might have landed in the right spot. With the Giants lacking a true backup center, Brown should get a pretty good look from the coaching staff throughout the summer. He also offers versatility, having played guard for two seasons at SMU.
The NFL Draft report says:
Overall, Brown is an aggressive and competitive blocker who goes from snap to whistle. He has a good frame and playing strength to pin and seal the defender on in-line run blocks. He flashes good short-area and position-block quickness. He is very effective on pulls, as he gets out of his stance and on the move fast.
The center does a good job of delivering a hard blow to the defender and eliminating him from the play. He gives good effort to sustain blocks and maintains a low pad level, especially when having to anchor vs. stronger defenders. He delivers power and pop to jolt and drive the defender off the ball on straight-ahead run blocks and shows proper footwork on in-line blocks (not the type who will cross his feet and take incorrect power steps to hinder his strength and explosiveness).
Tony Pauline of NFL Draft Analyst says “Brown was a consistent lineman at the college level but is a marginal athlete with limited upside.”
During rookie mini-camp, Brown told reporters he thought he could wind up with the Giants if he went undrafted. Which, of course, is what happened.
“I knew [the Giants] were interested in me and I knew they didn’t have many picks in the draft, so I knew they weren’t going to draft me, but I also knew that I had a decent opportunity here which is why I ultimately chose them.”
If he shows enough, Brown could end up with a spot as the backup center to Brett Jones. He could also be ticketed for the Giants’ practice squad. That’s a place teams always like to stash a center, so you have to think Brown has a chance.