There’s something about the Green Bay Packers and drafting versatile offensive linemen. In the past two drafts, the Packers have taken six offensive linemen, most of whom are currently and projected to compete at a variety of positions. However, Josh Myers may have the center position waiting upon arrival.
Assuming Green Bay asks Myers to remain at his natural position, the team will have used a second-round pick to draft Corey Linsley’s replacement. Both Myers and Linsley attended Ohio State, and while playing for the Buckeyes, both started multiple seasons for some of the top offensives in the nation.
“Really versatile guy that can play anywhere inside,” General Manager Brian Gutekunst said of Myers. “Two-year starter at center. (Team) Captain…Josh is a 6-5, 310-pound center. He’s very, very smart. Very very strong. He played at a high level at Ohio State for a couple years there.”
Myers started his final two years in college and was named to the second-team All-Big Ten in 2019 and then earned first-team honors last season. For the past two years, Myers has snapped the ball the quarterback Justin Fields, the 11th overall pick from this year’s draft.
In two years as the Buckeyes’ starter, Fields accumulated 5,373 passing yards and tossed 63 touchdowns. Meanwhile, Myers was the one running the show by calling protections.
“He was one of the centers that kind of ran the show there,” said Gutekunst. “He’s a little bit bigger than some of the centers we’ve had here, which I like.”
Standing at 6-5, Myers comes in two inches taller than Linsley, height didn’t stop Linsley from becoming one of the best run-blocking centers in the league. He consistently opened holes and climbed to the second level to engage with linebackers. His athleticism set him apart from most of his counterparts.
Myers is also very athletic. He showcased nimble feet, good bend, and a strong ability to transition between blocks to spring open holes at Ohio State. This helped JK Dobbins become the first-ever 2,000-yard running back in school history.
Obviously, Myers has a long way to go to reach the All-Pro level Linsley played at in 2020. Linsley had immeasurable chemistry with Aaron Rodgers, but the two had to begin working together immediately after Linsley was forced to start as a rookie in 2014. Linsley maintained that role for the next six seasons, starting 99 games as the nucleus for one of the best offensive lines in the league.
Unfortunately, the Packers couldn’t afford to keep Linsley. Luckily, they have replacement options in Elgton Jenkins, Lucas Patrick, and now Myers. The way things are shaping up, Myers could find himself following a similar path to Linsley.
Ideally, he wouldn’t start right away, but if left tackle David Bakhtiari misses the start of the regular season, some positions will need to be shuffled. Jenkins could find himself at tackle, and either Patrick or Myers could be the starting center. If Myers is the guy, don’t fret, Green Bay has a ton of confidence in him.
“His size, his athleticism, his power, how smart he is, what they asked him to do at Ohio State, understanding he could handle that stuff here, that was intriguing to us. He just fit what we’re all about.”
Brandon Carwile is a Packers writer who also enjoys watching and breaking down film. Follow him on Twitter @PackerScribe.