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NFL Draft profile: Pat Elflein can play multiple spots on the offensive line right away

Whether it’s a guard or center, the Buckeye is a force for defenders.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few returning players for Ohio State in 2016 was center Pat Elflein, someone Urban Meyer repeatedly touted as invaluable. After spending the early part of his Buckeye career lining up at left and right guard, he was asked to move to the middle and snap to quarterback J.T. Barrett his senior season.

He walked away with one year experience at center and the Rimington Award for being the best at the position. The offensive line for Ohio State struggled last season, but what little success they had was in large part due to the effort Elflein put in with the young guys. He spent the offseason learning a new position and getting others to step up their game around him.

Measurements

Height Weight Arms Hands 40-yard dash Bench Press Vertical Broad Jump
Height Weight Arms Hands 40-yard dash Bench Press Vertical Broad Jump
6'3 303 lbs 33 1/4" 9 3/4" 5.32 sec 22 reps 23.5" 99.0"

Strengths

  • Leadership. Elflein took his role as a captain seriously in 2016, and work tirelessly after hours to perfect his new role at center — which he did.
  • Versatility. Given that the Buckeye played both left and right guard his first few years at Ohio State before moving to center gives him experience not all lineman have. He can and is willing to line up anywhere on the line that team needs him, which makes him a valuable Plan B when injuries start popping up mid-season.

Weaknesses

  • He’s not the most elegant guy on the line, and his combine performance didn’t do anything to prove otherwise. He had a mediocre performance in Indy, and wasn’t able to rank among the top performers in any of the workouts.

Highlights

Projections

Per SBNation’s Dan Kadar, Elflein is No. 1 rated center among this draft class. He wasn’t rated for his talents at guard, but he’s proven at Ohio State that he can do both. He’s expected to one of the earlier lineman taken in the draft, and should come off the board in the mid-rounds.

Outlook

Elflein can be a Day 1 contributor. He can contribute at left and right guard if he’s shadowing an existing center, or step right into the starting role depending on where he lands. At the combine, the Buckeye said his ideal role would include a little bit of everything, but he’s willing to do whatever is asked of him.