During the 2014 NFL Draft Ted Thompson took what many may call a need pick and possibly a reach with The Ohio State University center Corey Linsley.
Linsley a native of Youngstown, Ohio, who grew up a Green Bay Packers fan, attended Boardman High School. He managed to move all the way up to the No. 6 offensive guard on rivals as a second team all-state lineman his senior year while struggling with an injury.
Once Linsley became a Buckeye he spent his freshman year as a redshirt and saw limited action as a reserve in 10 games each, both his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons. His junior year saw him explode onto the scene to replace all-American center Mike Brewster.
Following Linsley’s 2012 junior season which he underwent offseason surgery on his foot, he was promoted to team captain and started all 14 games at center for the Buckeyes. Still, most draft projections only listed him as a 7th round projection.
At 6-3, 296 pounds, Linsley was tied for the lightest lineman at the combine. However, the term light ends right there. Linsley threw up an impressive 36 reps on the bench and is said to be able to bench 500 pounds!
Linsley’s athleticism does not end on the weight bench. During his stint at Boardman High, he was also a State Champion discus thrower as well as a State Champion shot putter.
Using a fifth round pick, number 21 (161 overall) to fill a need position should not be considered a reach. The factor that brings magnification to this pick is the urgency Aaron Rodgers has expressed to find a stable center.
It has been said that Linsley can “Squat a small house” but also has short arms and pedestrian footwork. Maybe the most important thing that can’t be measured is that of toughness. As a player Linsley played through both a shoulder injury as a senior in high school and yet again a foot injury his redshirt junior year in college. An Iron Man mentality would be much welcomed in Green Bay.
The center position may be one of the most competitive position battles over the length of camp. Green Bay knows they have a smart, strong, versatile and super good run blocking center in the way of Linsley.
Will Corey Linsley beat out J.C. Tretter and become the Frank Winters to Brett Favre long-term answer at center for Aaron Rodgers?
Only time will tell.