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2021 NFL Draft: The future at center

If Buffalo wants to prepare for Mitch Morse leaving, here are some players to think about in the draft

Two years ago, the Buffalo Bills wanted a long-term solution for their center position, which led to them signing Mitch Morse to the most expensive contract ever given to a player at the position. Yet, far from earning his contract, Morse has been average and has been stricken with multiple concussions throughout his time with the team. Given those headwinds, the team might decide it would be best for both parties to move on this offseason.

Even if the Bills don’t immediately move on from Morse, it could be wise to invest in a player who has the ability to play center given the team’s backup there—Jon Feliciano is himself a free agent. Below are just a few of the players Buffalo might consider.

Tier I

Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC)
Rashawn Slater (Northwestern)
Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma)

Although he played left tackle this season, rather admirably, Vera-Tucker would fit well inside. Not only is his flexibility valuable, it proves that he has the movement skills and agility teams want in their guards. His tape is loaded with some highly athletic blocks that few interior lineman could attempt. The same goes for Slater, who has rare movement skills for a tackle, but shorter arms that may prevent him from excelling in that area. Humphrey isn’t the most athletic player, but he’s completely battle-tested and has the flexibility to start in a man-heavy or zone-heavy blocking scheme.

Tier II

Drake Jackson (Kentucky)
Josh Myers (Ohio State)
Landon Dickerson (Alabama)

Solid, versatile and a four-year starter for the Wildcats, Jackson’s Senior Bowl performance reassured many that he can hold his own in the NFL. Myers is a much more limited athlete than some of his peers, but his size and anchor strength means he can start if drafted into the right system. Dickerson is kind of in the same boat as Myers, with his mauling mentality and a hard-working mentality being his best traits.

Tier III

Ben Cleveland (Georgia)
Jimmy Morrissey (Pittsburgh)

A massive interior lineman at 350 lbs, Cleveland has a tremendous anchor and power elements to his game. He doesn’t move super well in the open field though, which means he could be a better fit at guard. Thanks to his lack of size and strength, Morrissey is only a fit for West Coast-style zone blocking schemes. His feet and agility might not be good enough to even start in that type of offense.

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