The New York Giants will be in the market for a center this off-season. Their starting center in the 2022 season, Jon Feliciano, will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason after an inconsistent first year with Big Blue. New York could look to go in a new, younger direction at the position to find a long-term solution.
Giants could draft their center in round two
John Michael Schmitz could be the Giants’ top target in the second round of the draft. The Minnesota Golden Gopher is the consensus top center in this year’s draft. At 6-foot-4, 320 pounds, Schmitz could be the anchor in the middle of the Giants’ offensive line.
As a fifth-year senior in 2022, Schmitz played in 12 games, totaling 767 snaps for the Golden Gophers’ offense and allowing just 5 QB hurries, one QB hit, and two sacks. The big mauler in the middle of Minnesota’s offensive line plays the game with power and possesses impressive athletic ability for a man his size. Schmitz has the build of prototypical NFL center and projects as an immediate starter at the next level.
Expectations for Schmitz should be that this is a starting player on your offensive line sooner rather than later. He has the capabilities to step in and process NFL information and has the physical profile to handle A-gap defenders and maintain push or a clean pocket.The Draft Network on John Michael Schmitz
The Giants could draft Schmitz and immediately plug him in as a starter on their offensive line. He was stellar as both a pass-protector and run-blocker in college. According to PFF, John Michael Schmitz was the highest-graded run-blocking offensive lineman from the 2022 season with a grade of 92.4. He also allowed just one sack over nearly 2,500 career snaps in college, per Jordan Reid of ESPN.
Schmitz turned heads down in Mobile, Alabama at the 2023 Senior Bowl. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com described Schmitz as “the most consistent player” at the Senior Bowl. “He’s interviewed really well during his meetings with teams this week,” Daniel Jeremiah said. “I’ve been told his character is off the charts. I don’t see him being available beyond Day 2 of the draft.”
As a fifth-year center going pro, John Michael Schmitz will be a 24-year-old rookie when entering the league, making him older than Giants’ second-year tackle Evan Neal. However, Schmitz still has an upside and athletic profile exceeding the quality of any other center in this year’s class. John Michael Schmitz would be a home-run selection for the New York Giants in the second round, and they may want to consider moving up to secure the top-shelf center.