News broke on Friday morning that longtime Buffalo Bills starting center Eric Wood had sustained career-ending damage to his neck. While Ryan Groy is under contract for the team, the coaching staff was reluctant to play him last season, and it’s possible they want a different answer.
If they look to the draft for their next starter, here are some options for their board:
Billy Price, Ohio State
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
Price is the headliner of this year’s class. He holds the school record for career starts, with 55 games total. He was a team captain for the final two years of his career. Originally recruited as a defensive tackle, the Ohio native moved from guard to center as a senior, following in the footsteps of his former teammate Pat Elflein.
Ragnow is not far behind. The Minnesota native has started for three straight years, and played an additional nine games as a freshman. Standing 6’4” 320 pounds, he’s a bit tall for a center, but he plays with a mean streak and has experience in a pro-style blocking offense that might appeal to Brian Daboll. Ragnow suffered a high-ankle sprain in his senior year that held him out of the Senior Bowl, but he should be healthy for the NFL Combine.
Austin Corbett, Nevada
Mason Cole, Michigan
This group isn’t a far step behind the top two. Both of these players have experience cross-training around the offensive line. Corbett was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Wolfpack, but when he headed to the Senior Bowl he played all five positions on the line, focusing mainly at center. Cole started 51 games for the Wolverines, sandwiching a year at center between three seasons of left tackle.
Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
Brian Allen, Michigan State
Bradley Bozeman, Alabama
These centers have also earned postseason accolades and demonstrate the capabilities to start for an NFL team within a year or two of being drafted. Allen played in the East-West Shrine game, while Quessenberry and Bozeman earned Senior Bowl invites. Bozeman played in Daboll’s offense this year, and has played both guard and center.