Trench Warfare Film Room - ESPN's Jeff Saturday joins me to break down Tyler Linderbaum
The 2022 offensive line class has a clear-cut top center prospect in Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum. However, despite his consensus position among draft analysts, his stock has taken a considerable hit since the Combine. This began when the weigh-in numbers dropped, revealing that Linderbaum’s height (6023), weight (296) and arm length (31 1/8) were in the bottom 6% of all lineman since 1999.
Linderbaum wasn’t able to test and confirm the rare movement skills seen on tape due to a lingering foot sprain that he suffered in the team’s bowl game against Kentucky, which only fueled the skepticism sparked by his underwhelming size. That was a game many thought he should have skipped, but he chose to participate out of loyalty to his team.
Linderbaum cemented his status as an all-time great athlete at center at his pro day (doing it at 302 pounds) by posting the best 3-cone of all-time for an interior line prospect, but there remains serious doubts about his status as a first-round selection partly due to the size concerns as well as the common belief that center is a non-premium position unworthy of high-end draft capital.
Considering Linderbaum’s polarizing profile as a draft prospect, I wanted to bring in an expert at what it takes to play the center position at the highest level to break down his film. This led me to reach out to former All-Pro center, Super Bowl Champion and current ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday. Not only did Saturday start in 220 NFL games over a Hall of Fame worthy 14-year career, but he did it at nearly the same size as Linderbaum:
Saturday at the 1998 Combine: 6023 - 296 - 31 1/2 arm length - 10 1/8 hand size
Linderbaum at the 2022 Combine: 6021 - 296 - 31 1/8 arm length - 10 hand size
Saturday and I have been exchanging notes on linemen for about a year now, so I was fortunate to be in a position to have him join me to shine light on what makes Linderbaum special, where he can improve, similarities he sees in their games and to teach us more about the position overall.
I was blown away by the level of detail and how well Saturday articulated his points during our nearly hour long film session and we only got through a fraction of the film I had cut-up. I learned a tremendous amount about what to look for when scouting the position, and Saturday helped grow my appreciation for the offensive line and made it incredibly fun in the process. I trust that you will see exactly what I mean once you sit down and watch this.
Jeff Saturday and I analyze Tyler Linderbaum
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