Round 3: Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
Over the last decade, Nick Mangold has built a resume for being one of, if not, the best center in the National Football League. He is a seven-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.
At age 33, however, Mangold is at a crossroads in his career. A full rebuild for the New York Jets would waste the few years that Mangold may have left to play this game. The Jets could release Nick and allow him to go to a contender to obtain that elusive Lombardi Trophy, he so well deserves.
There is an alternative, though. Mangold could play one more year with the team that drafted him and retire as one of the most beloved Jets players of all time. In doing so, he could mentor an understudy at the center position.
Who better to be Mangold’s understudy then-current Ohio State Buckeye center, Pat Elflein?
Elflein is as versatile of a lineman as there is in this year’s draft. With three-years of experience at guard, Pat moved to center for the 2016 NCAA College Football season en route to being named an All-American and Rimington Trophy winner — the award for the best center in the country.
If the last decade has told us anything, Ohio State is a great place to start when in search of a cornerstone center.