Travis Frederick*, C/G, Wisconsin
Height: 6-4. Weight: 312. Arm: 33.08. 40 Time: 5.58. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/23/13: The consensus opinion has Frederick as the top center in the 2013 NFL Draft. He could easily be the first one selected, but that would probably only be to a team that runs a man-blocking scheme. A zone-blocking scheme would probably prefer David Quessenberry or Brian Schwenke.
Frederick moved to center in 2012. The senior wasn't as dominant there as he was at guard in 2011. The Badgers were struggling to run the ball early this season, but heated up going against weak Big Ten competition. Frederick struggled against Penn State defensive tackle Jordan Hill and didn't do well against Stanford.
For the NFL, Frederick needs to get better in his pass protection and ability to block speed-rushers. He had a disappointing Combine as he ran slowly, did poorly in the field drills and had a low total on the bench press (21 reps).
8/24/12: Frederick had an excellent 2011 season for the Badgers. He was a tremendous run-blocker, paving the way for running back Montee Ball. Frederick, Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler were a dynamic interior that was dominant at the point of attack. Frederick is a road-grading guard like Zeitler who can push around defensive linemen. Also like Zeitler, his weakness comes in pass protection with speed-rushing defensive tackles.
Frederick won't have Konz and Zeitler this year, but Wisconsin's offensive system continuously churns out powerful offensive linemen. Frederick should have another good season in 2012 as a run-blocker for Ball.
Frederick will battle two potential first-round picks in Purdue's Kawann Short and Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins. Illinois' Akeem Spence should provide another formidable opponent. If plays well against that trio, Frederick will stand a good shot of being a first-rounder in 2013 or 2014.
David Quessenberry, C/G, San Jose State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 294. Arm: 33 7/8. Hand: 10 1/2. 40 Time: 5.08. Projected Round (2013): 2-3. 4/23/13: Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Quessenberry had a climb as a prospect because teams love his versatility. They said he could go late in the second round.
Quessenberry was a productive 3-year starter for San Jose State who earned multiple All-Conference selections. A strong Senior Bowl really helped him. Quessenberry got better each practice and was very impressive in the final day's one-on-ones. He followed that up with a good performance at the Combine. Quessenberry turned in a fast 40-yard dash, did well in the field drills and was solid on the bench press (25 reps).
Quessenberry hides his weight extremely well. He definitely has the the frame to add on another 15-20 pounds. Quessenberry also good numbers for arm length and hand size that will help his ability to play multiple positions. All of that adds up to a nice athlete to mold into a starting lineman in the NFL.
The 2013 draft class is weak on the inside of the offensive line, so Quessenberry could easily rise higher. He has the ability to play guard, center and tackle. Teams love that flexibility to help them on game days. It is probably most likely that he ends up starting at center or guard. Quessenberry has starting potential and really helped himself in Mobile.
Barrett Jones, C/G/T, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 306. Arm: 34.18. Projected 40 Time: 5.20. Projected Round (2013): 2-4. 4/23/13: Jones' best position for the NFL is probably center, but he also has the ability to play guard after being a standout at guard as a freshman and sophomore. Having played left tackle as a junior and center as senior, Jones is the rare lineman who can play any position on the offensive line.
Jones finished his collegiate career with an excellent performance against Notre Dame in the National Championship. He won the vast majority of his reps against the Irish's tough interior defensive linemen. A foot injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl, but Jones told WalterFootball.com that he expects to be ready to compete in the offseason program.
After playing well against LSU, Jones had a lot of problems against Texas A&M. He was beaten repeatedly by an undersized, speedy defensive tackle. Jones made up for it in the SEC Championship against Georgia. He had a few rough plays in the first half before having a phenomenal second half. Jones dominated nose tackle Kwame Geathers as Alabama's run game ran wild over the Bulldogs. Jones also had success against massive nose tackle John Jenkins.
Jones had a harder time with Mississippi State compared to other teams he faced this season. Heavy defensive tackle Dewayne Cherrington was a challenge for Jones and guard Chance Warmack. Jones had a good game overall, but wasn't as overwhelming as he was in other games.
Jones played well against Missouri. He opened up holes for Eddie Lacy to have a huge day and was excellent in pass protection. When going against talented defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, Jones had success. The senior also had a superb outing against Arkansas. He dominated the Razorbacks on the ground and in pass blocking.
Jones had an excellent debut at center in the 2012 season opener against Michigan. He looked so natural, one would think he has played the position for years. Jones was superb in the ground game opening up holes and hitting combo blocks. He was rock solid in pass protection, too. The intelligent senior was great at making the line calls to set protections and blocking schemes.
8/24/12: Jones had a tremendous season at left tackle last year and it has really elevated his draft stock. In his biggest test of 2011, Tbe junior faced his biggest test of facing LSU in the regular season. He played very well before sustaining an ankle injury in the second half. Early in the evening, Jones was doing a phenomenal job of run blocking for Trent Richardson, and Alabama had a lot of success running behind Jones. He also wasn't getting - or needing - any help with LSU's speed-rushers on the edge, and Jones was rock solid not allowing a sack or pressure. He had another good game in the National Championship
Jones only moved to left tackle in 2011 after playing guard the previous two years. His transisition was flawless. He did a fabulous job of run blocking for Trent Richardson, and was equally good in pass protection. Jones is an intelligent player who has the physical tools to be effective.
Interestingly, Alabama has moved the senior to center for 2012. He is extremely smart and versatile. It will be interesting to see where Jones plays in the NFL, but he definitely could play guard.
Jones started 14 games at guard in 2009 as a redshirt freshman and Ingram ran his way to a Heisman. Jones stayed at right guard and started 11 games there in 2010. He was named as a First-Team All-SEC selection last season.
Brian Schwenke, C, California
Height: 6-3. Weight: 314. Arm: 30 7/8. Hand: 9 1/2. 40 Time: 4.99. Projected Round (2013): 3-4. 4/23/13: Schwenke continued his upward trend with a great Combine. He had a fast 40 time and did well on the bench press (31 reps). Schwenke performed well at the Senior Bowl, too, which really helped his draft stock. He showed the ability to play in a power man-blocking scheme as well as a zone-blocking scheme. Schwenke is quick and athletic. He does a good job of moving to blocks and executing double teams.
In college, Schwenke started 36 games on the inside of the offensive line with 16 starts at left guard, 12 at center and eight at right guard. He would fit best as a center in the NFL. Schwenke was a First-Team All-Pac-12 pick by the coaches this year. He should add some weight in a NFL strength and conditioning program.
Dalton Freeman, C, Clemson
Height: 6-5. Weight: 285. Arm: 31. Hand: 9 7/8. Projected 40 Time: 5.05. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/23/13: Freeman blocked really well for quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Andre Ellington in 2012. Freeman had a superb game against Auburn in the season opener and did well against Florida State. He had some struggles against LSU and tackle Bennie Logan.
Freeman would be a lot higher in these rankings if he wasn't so undersized. Freeman had a mixed performance at the Senior Bowl and did not work out at the Combine. He has to go to a zone-blocking team in the NFL, but many feel that he is an ascending prospect.
8/22/12: Dalton Freeman has started the past three seasons at center for Clemson. He did a good job of blocking for C.J. Spiller as a freshman in 2009 and for Andre Ellington the past two years. The senior Freeman is a mobile center who will need to add some power to his game for the NFL. He has the frame to get bigger.
Freeman is athletic and would probably be a best fit in a zone-blocking scheme at the next level. He did a good job in pass protection for quarterback Tajh Boyd in 2011.
Khaled Holmes, C, USC
Height: 6-3. Weight: 302. Projected 40 Time: 5.58. Projected Round (2013): 4-6. 4/23/13: Overall, Holmes had a disappointing senior season. He was beaten too often in the ground game and in pass protection. Holmes finished the year with a poor showing versus Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix and another rough outing in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech.
Holmes had a bad day against Syracuse as well. He gave up a sack after getting bull rushed into quarterback Matt Barkley on a deep snap. Holmes also fumbled a snap, missed a block on a run blitz to allow a tackle for a loss and was pushed back on a fourth-and-1 to allow a turnover on downs for USC.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the senior had players roll into the back of his leg late in the game and was carted off the field with an ankle injury. He missed the Stanford game and re-injured the ankle against California.
Holmes was dominated early on in the Utah game by defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Lotulelei forced a fumble after blowing up Holmes and was wreaking havoc on USC. The Utes standout was held to consistent draws after the Trojans started double-teaming him.
Holmes has to get stronger for the NFL and improve his ability to sustain blocks. He missed the Senior Bowl with an injury and was hurt at the Combine. Durability is becoming a serious problem for Holmes. Teams are also questioning his dedication to football.
8/22/12: Holmes had an impressive 2011 season and was a Second-Team Pac-12 selection. He was a fabulous pass-protector for Matt Barkley. Holmes also did a good job of opening up holes in the ground game for Curtis McNeal and Marc Tyler.
Holmes is a good athlete who is quick off the snap. He was a starter at guard as a sophomore in 2010. Holmes is a natural center, but could use more strength for the next level. He has the frame to add weight and that would help him push defensive linemen off the ball.
Braxston Cave, C, Notre Dame
Height: 6-3. Weight: 303. Arm: 30 3/8. Hand: 9 1/4. Projected 40 Time: 5.10. Projected Round (2013): 5-7. 4/23/13: For the NFL, Cave is a mauler at the line of scrimmage but isn't quick or agile. He struggled against Purdue speedy defensive tackle Kawann Short early in the 2012 and was beaten for a sack. Cave had problems throughout the game going against Purdue's interior defensive linemen.
Cave played better against Michigan and Michigan State, but didn't impress versus Stanford. He had a good outing against USC to close out the regular season. He didn't play well in the National Championship against Alabama to close out his career.
Cave has had a rough time since then. He struggling mightily at the Senior Bowl - including with Kawann Short again. Cave was beaten by bull rushes and speed rushes in Mobile. He is going to need work before being ready to play in the NFL. Cave looked slow and stiff in the field drills at the Combine, too.
8/22/12: Braxston Cave broke into the starting lineup in 2010. He has a nice combination of strength and mobility. Cave needs to stay healthy and improve to help his draft stock. One thing that helps him is that he has some long-snapping experience.
Mario Benavides, C, Louisville
Height: 6-4. Weight: 300. Projected 40 Time: 5.15. Projected Round (2012): 7-FA. 4/23/13: Benavides started the season strong. He had an excellent game against North Carolina and defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. Benavides did pretty well in the Sugar Bowl against Florida, too. There were some plays where he was beaten by the Gators interior, but he had his share of wins as well.
Benavides was a strong run-blocker and good pass-protector for Teddy Bridgewater in 2012. Benavides did not work out at the Combine.
8/22/12: Mario Benavides enters his senior season having started the past three years at center for the Cardinals. Benavides missed the first three games of last season with a knee injury, but he returned to start the final 10 games. Benavides is experienced, and if he plays well in 2012, he should solidify his stock as a mid-round pick.
Braden Hansen, C/G, BYU
Height: 6-6. Weight: 310. Projected 40 Time: 5.10. Projected Round (2013): 7-FA. 4/23/13: Hansen had a quality season playing center, but didn't stand out when taking on Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Hansen hurt his groin and missed the end of a close loss to Notre Dame. The offense really missed him. The injury also caused him to be out the next game.
Hansen finished the year well with a strong bowl performance. He did not participate in the East-West Shrine, Senior Bowl or Combine.
8/24/12: Hansen was an instant starter as a freshman, and has started every game at guard the past three seasons. He was named an All-MWC honorable mention as a sophomore.
BYU has had a strong running game, and Hansen has opened a lot of holes for the Cougars. He's also been a reliable pass-blocker. Hansen is a well-rounded guard, but is not overwhelming at the line of scrimmage.
James Ferentz, C, Iowa
Height: 6-2. Weight: 284. Projected 40 Time: 5.05. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: Iowa struggled more than expected this season. Ferentz and the Hawkeyes really missed running back Marcus Coker and wide receiver Marvin McNutt. Ferentz was dominated by Purdue's Kawann Short, who totaled four tackles for a loss and a sack against Iowa. It was an ugly game from Ferentz that hurt his stock.
Ferentz had another bad showing at the East-West Shrine. He lost a lot of his one-on-one reps and really struggled with bigger linemen. Ferentz did not participate in the Combine. He is extremely undersized.
8/22/12: Ferentz is the son of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. As expected, James Ferentz is a well-developed center and is a balanced run- and pass-blocker. He led the way for a strong running game with running back Marcus Coker in 2011. Ferentz was a Big Ten honorable mention for his junior season. The main thing holding him back is a lack of size, but he is very intelligent.
Sam Schwartzstein, C, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 290. Projected 40 Time: 5.10. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: Schwartzstein played really well against USC to help Stanford pull off the upset win. He opened up holes on the ground all night versus the Trojans. Schwartzstein didn't play as well against Washington and Notre Dame, but did well against California and UCLA. Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor had success running behind Schwartzstein throughout 2012.
8/22/12: Schwartzstein is sleeper center prospect who deserves more attention. He won the starting center position heading into the 2011 season after being a backup his first two years. Schwartzstein formed an excellent interior tandem with guard David DeCastro. They led the way for a strong interior running game and Schwartzstein was a very good pass-protector for Andrew Luck.
Schwartzstein played a leading role in shutting down defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu when Stanford took on Washington. It was an excellent tape for Schwartzstein to display for NFL scouts. It wouldn't be surprising if he rises higher in these rankings after his senior season.
Graham Pocic, C, Illinois
Height: 6-5. Weight: 305. Projected 40 Time: 5.15. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: Pocic played well overall for Illinois. He had some struggles with Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short, but played reasonably well against Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. Pocic didn't play in an All-Star game or the Combine.
8/22/12: Pocic started the past two seasons at center for Illinois. He has some real athleticism. Pocic did a good job of blocking for Mikel Leshoure in 2010. Pocic needs to improve his strength, but he has the height and frame to be able to add more mass.
Joe Madsen, C, West Virginia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 310. Arm: 29 1/8. Hand: 9 1/2. Projected 40 Time: 5.15. Projected Round (2013): FA. 4/23/13: Madsen and West Virginia put up an insane amount of points and yards early this season. He had some struggles against Texas and Kansas State, but did a good job of blocking for Geno Smith in the majority of games.
8/22/12: Madsen enters his fourth season as a starter for West Virginia. He has been an All-Big East selection and is a quality pass-blocker for quarterback Geno Smith. Madsen needs a strong season to make sure he gets drafted.