The Miami Dolphins have been lacking a consistent elite center since the days of Mike Pouncey, who brought stability and effective communication to the offensive line.
It’s been a rotating door of Centers with Anthony Steen, Travis Swanson, Daniel Kilgore and Ted Karras. Next in line is Matt Skura or maybe even Michael Dieter depending on how training camp goes.
While training camp will decide who will win the starting job, it doesn’t tell us who will be the Center of the Future in Miami. Dieter has been working primarily at Guard and transitioning to Center, Skura is only on a one year deal.
Coach Flores has praised continuity on the offensive line and with a revolving door of Centers coming in and out of South Florida it begs the question: When will the Dolphins draft a center to pair up with Tua Tagovailoa?
Before the 2021 draft the Dolphins were interested in centers and had their eyes on a couple but did not draft any. If there is any indication Miami is looking for a young center they could fine one in the 2022 NFL Draft
The 2021 college season has not begun yet, so I am mocking this mock based on last years season and came away impressed by Alec Lindstrom of Boston College.
As the starting center for the Golden Eagles, Alec played in 12 games as an anchor of an offensive line that thrusted A.J. Dillon to a second-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, improving Phil Jurkovec’s transition into a better passer and propelling Hunter Long into a career year in the 2020 season.
In 2019, the Golden Eagles ranked 8th in yards per carry (5.1) and rushing yards per game (254.2). Lindstrom started in games where they racked up over 200 rushing yards against Kansas, Louisville, Syracuse and NC State.
It shouldn’t be understated how effective Alec is in pass protection too. He shows a high level of football intelligence with good play recognition. This is typified by his ability to pick up a blitz and negate the threat of the pass rusher. For all the focus on their prowess as a run-blocking unit, the Boston College offensive line unit allowed just 13 sacks through 2019.
I sat down with Mitchel Wolfe of BC Bulletin and he delves into what Lindstrom brings on the field:
“Very good movement skills/footwork: has quick smooth feet that allow him to move back and forth at the top of the pocket to easily mirror pass rushers and respond well to twists and stunts; keeps feet driving as a run blocker through the end of the play.
Solid hand usage: hands are very active to mirror and deflect defensive linemen; displays good placement to locate the defender’s breastplate and strike him there.
Very good anchor in pass protection: easily able to shut down bull rushers; can recover well if beaten quickly off the snap to drop his feet and plant in the ground to prevent further penetration.
Solid in Man/Gap schemes: solid at executing Base blocks against A-gap defenders, as he can use angles and technique as opposed to brute strength to maintain his gap; good in DBLs, working very well with OGs to generate push and maintain balance.
Solid in Zone schemes: movement skills and athleticism help him get off the ball and move down the line, pushing defender with the flow; very good in Combo blocks, displaying good instincts of when to climb to next defender.
Solid when asked to get out in space as a puller or on screens; good athletic ability helps him get to the outside fluidly and quickly; good balance, as he rarely ends up on the ground against his will.
Good mental processing: responsible for setting and adjusting protections for the offensive line; good post-snap recognition of stunts and twists, keeping head on a swivel to look for work; plays well with others in doubles and combo blocks, with a good sense of timing to peel off.
Elite competitive toughness: best finisher on the BC offensive line, relishing in burying defenders into the ground; consistently plays through the whistle and never gives up on his blocks.”Mitchell Wolfe on Alec Lindstrom
“Adequate play strength as a run blocker in all schemes: struggles to generate push at the point of attack; needs to improve how he uses his leverage in the run game.
Adequate play speed: takes just a hair too long to get out of his stance and get into the block, leading to quicker defenders beating him off the snap and putting him at an immediate disadvantage.
Lack of play strength and speed negatively affect his hand usage: sometimes doesn’t get his hands up quick enough, and does not have a ton of pop in his hands; timing of strikes could use some work as well.
Struggles against bigger 0-1Ts in Man-Gap schemes: superior size and strength overwhelms him and cannot displace the defender.
Seems to be lacking arm length, leading to occasional issues with executing Reach blocks, especially if he has to get to the play-side 3T.
Struggles a bit when asked to climb to the second level; doesn’t consistently make the block on his assigned defender and looks lost sometimes.”Mitchell Wolfe on Alec Lindstrom
Lindstrom has some work to do this season to become a solid center for the NFL as he will need to increase strength in the run game and better hand placement.
Lindstrom is currently listed at 6’3 295lbs; he might not currently fit the OL profile of Miami which is over 305lbs, but he can certainly get there in one more college season and preparation for the draft.
Something cool about him, he snaps left handed which goes well with Left handed QB’s, just like Tua.
If Miami does indeed look to draft a center this upcoming draft Lindstrom could be one of the Centers on the Dolphins Draft board within the second round.
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