Eagles Draft Profiles: Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum
For the last several seasons, the Eagles offensive line has been a focal point of their dominance. Their success has been sustained due to the coaching of Jeff Stoutland alongside continuous additions via the draft and free agency.
Jason Kelce seems to be leaning towards returning, but the Eagles still need to add depth on the line after Brandon Brooks’ retirement. One of the top linemen on the board, Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, has drawn a lot of comparisons to Kelce. The two are similar in size and are known for their open-field blocking and overall aggression.
Both centers stand at 6’3, with Linderbaum just a few pounds heavier than the Eagles legend. Even after drafting Landon Dickerson in the second round last season, the Eagles could greatly use another interior lineman early on.
Over the last several seasons, more guards and centers have been selected early in the NFL Draft. Linderbaum is looking to continue the tradition of early selections.
The biggest strengths of the Iowa center are, without a doubt, his football IQ and athleticism. It’s shocking how eerily similar Linderbaum and Kelce are as players, and it would be a seamless transition for Philadelphia. Centers are often the smartest and well-versed of the linemen. They have to know everyone’s responsibilities and often have to make calls to adjust the entire blocking scheme.
During his time at Iowa, being placed in those above scenarios alongside their continued production of dominant linemen shows he’s capable of dissecting defensive fronts quickly. Alongside his mental ability, Linderbaum is fast, getting to the second level without hesitation. One of his knocks is that the Iowa center is too fast at getting upfield and misses his blocks. That’s something you rarely see from a center.
Although he isn’t as strong as some other centers due to his small frame, he makes up for it with how technically sound he is. Linderbaum has phenomenal hand placement and knows how to get into the right positioning every time.
The only issue with Tyler Linderbaum is his size, and having Landon Dickerson and Isaac Seumalo next to him should help. Even if Kelce is back in 2022, I heavily expect the Eagles to be interested in Linderbaum in the upcoming draft.
Mandatory Credit: The Athletic