The New York Giants are unlikely to be in the market for a center in the 2024 NFL Draft. That’s almost unfortunate because while the guard class isn’t as highly regarded as in other years, this year boasts a pretty talented group of centers.
One of the top is Georgia red-shirt junior Sedrick Van Pran. Van Pran is a highly experienced and well-rounded center who has started every game at center for the last three years. He immediately became the starter as a red-shirt freshman in 2021 and proceeded to start the next 44 games on one of the best offensive lines in college football football.
There’s obviously a lot to like about Van Pran’s game.
Prospect: Sedrick Van Pran (63)
Games Watched: vs. Kentucky (2023), vs. Missouri (2023), vs. Ole Miss (2023), vs. Tennessee (2023)
Weight: 310 pounds
- Hand usage
- Scheme versatility
- Football IQ
Sedrick Van Pran is an experienced and very well-rounded center prospect. He has good size for the position at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds with good length and thickness in his upper and lower body. He also has the requisite athleticism for an NFL center and moves easily despite his mass.
Van Pran has a flexible lower body, allowing him to coil into a compact stance and maintain good hip and pad level throughout the play. That helps to mitigate his height and maintain good leverage against defensive tackles to maximize his play strength. He also has quick, light feet for an offensive lineman and is an easy mover. Van Pran is able to move laterally to meet speed through the A-gaps as well as redirect to pick up multiple rushers when necessary. He also has fluid hips when asked to pull and shows plenty of foot speed to get ahead of the play as a puller or when working up to the second level off of a double-team.
He has very good hand usage, starting with a quick jab at the snap of the ball with his left hand to slow nose tackles’ initial rush. He does a good job of delivering his initial punch to defenders’ chest plates and getting full extension to create space and give himself time to get his right hand up and in position. Van Pran has great grip strength to latch on and control defenders, as well as the ability to use his left and right hands independently to block multiple defenders.
Van Pran is a smart blocker and it’s obvious that he’s been well-coached. He’s equally able to block in inside or outside zone plays as in man-gap plays. He shows a good understanding of Georgia’s blocking schemes as well as what to expect from defenses. He’s quick to pick up late pressure and doesn’t waste time processing.
Finally, Van Pran plays with a definite nasty streak and consistently looks to deliver hits to defenders when blocking in space. Likewise, he has plenty of core strength (as well as grip strength) to torque defenders and toss them to the ground to put an exclamation point on the play.
Van Pran has few true weaknesses as a center, and calling the flaws in his game out feels more like nitpicking than anything else.
His most notable issue comes when his initial punch fails to land, or a particularly athletic tackle defeats his initial punch. In those (rare) instances he can stumble and lose his balance, creating a relatively easy path into the backfield. Van Pran was often able to recover and at least slow the defender, but the slight lapses were noticeable.
Van Pran is also not a bulldozer at center. He has good play strength when he’s able to play with leverage, but he didn’t often drive defenders off the ball through main strength in the tape viewed. Likewise, good bull-rushes were able to deliver a jolt and force him to re-anchor instead of stopping them cold.
(Van Pran is Georgia center number 63)
Sedrick Van Pran projects as a starting center in the NFL and should be able to take a starting job immediately as a rookie. He has a great combination size and athleticism and should be able to execute any blocking scheme commonly used in the NFL. He’s also a smart player who should be able to call protections and identify pressure packages at the next level.
Van Pran is by no means “weak”, but his future team will want to work with him to develop his play strength over time. He’s great at using his core strength and positioning to create openings or seal off defenders. However, being able to truly move NFL linemen off the line of scrimmage will only improve his game.
Does he fit the Giants?
Yes, though the Giants don’t need to draft a center at this point.
Final Word: A high second round pick or fringe first rounder.