Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Corey Linsley (71) blocks during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 21-14 in overtime. Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

Packers select Ohio State center Corey Linsley in fifth round

The Green Bay Packers finally addressed the position of most concern for many – center – when they selected Ohio State center

With the loss of starter Evan Dietrich-Smith in free agency, the Packers have J.C. Tretter penciled in, but last year’s draft choice hasn’t played a single down in the league. Some have talked about moving Don Barclay or T.J. Lang to center, but the Packers haven’t indicated that’s even being considered.

The selection of Linsley is the first of two fifth round selections and comes on the heels of the fourth round pick of linebacker Carl Bradford.

The Packers will finish out the fifth round with the thirty-sixth selection of the round and 176th overall – the second of two compensatory choices awarded to the Packers for the loss of Gregg Jennings and Erik Walden in Free Agency.

Surely, you don’t know a lot about this newest Packer, nor do I, but here is a bit of analysis from nfl.com:

STRENGTHS

Stout base. Works to re-anchor. Jolting punch. Strong upper body to latch onto and control defenders in short area. Generates movement in the run game. Understands angles and positioning. Excellent weight-room strength — bench-presses 500 pounds and squats a small house. Smart and dependable. Communicated all the line calls and checks. Is tough and will play hurt. Hardworking team captain with leadership traits.

WEAKNESSES

Has short arms. More strong than explosive — doesn’t roll his hips and blow nose tackles off the ball. Falls off blocks when he bends at the waist. Pedestrian foot athlete — slow to cut off linebackers, labors to pull and lacks lateral quickness to recover when beaten. Stressed by quicker rushers. Tied for the lightest offensive lineman at the combine.

DRAFT PROJECTION

Round 7-Priority free agent

BOTTOM LINE

Strong-bodied, heavy-handed, short-area mauler who anchored one of the nation’s most physical, productive rushing attacks. Has athletic limitations, but compensates with strength, smarts and competitiveness. Has the makeup to overachieve, and could increase his value by proving versatile enough to back up at guard.

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