NFL Draft Profile – Tyler Linderbaum
School – Iowa Hawkeyes
Position – IOL
Class – Redshirt Junior
Height – 6’3” Weight – 290lbs
As a NFL Draft Profile – Tyler Linderbaum is the standout centre in the class. He is a polished, dynamic offensive lineman who will start and star from day 1 in the NFL. In my eyes he is locked in as a centre, lacking the positional flexibility to play across the line. That’s not a bad thing though, as Linderbaum has pro-bowl level potential in the middle of the offensive line. He’s also coming from a school that has churned out top quality o-linemen, something that will be in his favour as GMs weigh up prospects.
Tenacity. Linderbaum is relentless in every aspect of his game. He always finishes his block, sometimes miles away from the play! When watching tape you’ll see the running back long gone while Linderbaum continues to push, lock up and demoralise his opponents. He is an athletic man with real explosion off the snap. This gives him the ability to lock on to defenders quickly and with power, stopping them from breezing past while he sets his feet. He is already set and in your face.
The Iowa Hawkeye has quick feet, aiding his athleticism and agility. He can adjust well in space and track opponent’s movements with good reactions. When those fast feet are combined with his ability to lower his body weight you get a very strong anchor, very tough to move off his spot.
Linderbaum has a wrestling background and his strength and technique allow him to move people with apparent ease. His hand technique is excellent as is his hand strength. He is incredibly accurate with his punch move, displaying a strong strike in initial contact. Linderbaum has elite grip strength, leg drive and the hip mobility to clamp, explode, re-leverage and maintain control in the run game. He is an absolute offensive monster! The other part of a centre’s game is the snap. Linderbaum is reliable when snapping the ball and has always had a good relationship with his QB in this aspect.
Areas of Improvement:
There aren’t any glaring weaknesses to this man’s game. Most of what he needs for improvement is simply NFL game time. Adjusting to the speed and size of an NFL game is something all rookies need experience to do. That being said, Tyler isn’t the heaviest lineman going. So bulking up a bit wouldn’t hurt his NFL production. Your average offensive lineman comes in at over 300 lbs and Linderbaum is shy of that, weighing 290 lbs. The extra muscle and weight would be particularly helpful to counter the bullrush move he will face on Sundays. More weight will bring an even stronger anchor position to fend off anyone trying to charge straight through him.
Linderbaum has the ability to be a cornerstone piece of an offense for many years to come. He is clearly the best olineman in the draft and there are plenty of NFL teams needing help there.
The position is often undervalued in the NFL draft as teams don’t feel comfortable spending an early 1st round pick on a centre, but Linderbaum may buck that trend. He is likely to go in the mid-first round but I won’t be totally shocked if he’s taken top 15. He is good enough to justify that, he just needs a franchise to commit to the unsexy pick!
Written by Jack @JackCDCTT