clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Instant analysis: John Michael Schmitz should stabilize Giants’ center position

What are the Giants getting with their selection of John Michael Schmitz?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 04 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With the 26th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the New York Giants have selected Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz

The Giants have finally invested in the center position, and selected the most reliable and technically sound interior lineman in the draft. The Giants have featured a rotating cast of players at center after letting 2014 second-round pick Weston Richburg leave via free agency after the 2017 season.

Schmitz would have been an acceptable pick for the Giants in the first round, and there’s a good reason why. Schmitz isn’t the biggest or most athletic interior lineman in the draft, but he’s smart and versatile. He has plenty of starting experience at Minnesota and executed a diverse diverse blocking scheme in that run-heavy offense. And perhaps unsurprisingly, Schmitz lettered in high school as a wrestler.

Or, as I wrote in my Prospect Profile of him:

Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz projects as a starting center with scheme diversity at the NFL level.

Schmitz should be a good starting center early in his career and has the ability to play for a team that uses man-gap, zone schemes, or a diverse blocking scheme. He has enough play strength for power schemes, the athleticism for movement-bases schemes, and the football IQ to execute either (or both).

Schmitz should also appeal to teams as a pass protector as well as a run blocker. He’s a smart and tough blocker who looks for work, processes the defense well, and anticipates what’s coming. What’s more, he has efficient feet and good hands to blunt rushes or engage with run defenders.

Schmitz should help solidify the middle of the Giants’ offensive line and give them a natural center for the first time in a long time. The Giants now have a pair of first-round picks at offensive tackle and a second-rounder at center, and they should be well on the way to finishing their offensive line rebuild.