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2022 NFL Draft Profile: Tyler Linderbaum

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa Hawkeyes, 2022 NFL Draft

Linderbaum is a special talent for the center position and should enjoy a long and successful NFL career

Not only is Tyler Linderbaum the top center in the 2022 NFL Draft, but he's also a borderline top-10 prospect overall. A unanimous All-American last season, Linderbaum also took home the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the nation's top center. Incredibly quick and athletic, Linderbaum is a product of an Iowa program known for producing high-quality offensive linemen. Simply put, Linderbaum shouldn't have to wait too long when the first round starts on April 28 to hear his name called.

(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Purchase a copy online today, the digital edition for instant access, or look for it on newsstands everywhere.)Tyler Linderbaum Draft Profile

College: Iowa
Class: Jr.
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 290

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Strong Points

A former defensive tackle with a wrestling background, Linderbaum moved to the pivot and became a three-year starter at Iowa, establishing himself as one of the best centers college football has seen over the past decade. He’s incredibly quick and athletic, as good on reach blocks as any lineman in the nation thanks to unmatched snap-and-step quickness and the flexible core and hand strength to get to his spot and then latch on and steer bigger defenders. His athleticism allows him to be used in a variety of ways; he’s exceptional as a puller getting out to the perimeter or getting out in front of screen passes. He brings all the intangibles you want at the position as a tough-as-nails competitor who plays bigger than his size and will bury second-level defenders when the opportunity arises. He worked with a variety of different quarterbacks and earned marks as a high-IQ and high-character leader in a program that produces a lot of them on the offensive line.

Weak Points

He’s undersized, and there’s nothing he can do about that as he goes to the next level. His play strength is more than adequate, but he’s likely going to have issues at times against longer opponents or massive 0-techniques who can get hands on him.

Summary

Former Steelers All-Pro Maurkice Pouncey is a good comp; Linderbaum’s athleticism and range give him the ability to do things in space that other offenses simply can’t ask of their center — although, like Pouncey, Linderbaum is going to have some issues sustaining against massive nose tackles who line up on top of him. Regardless, he’s a special talent for the position and figures to make his share of Pro Bowls.

Final Grade: 1st Round

Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide

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