2017 NFL DRAFT

Austin Blythe, C

School: Iowa  |  Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Williamsburg, IA
Height/Weight: 6-2 / 298 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
23866-7

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
5.363.04-29 27 1/2-4.537.52
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
5.343.041.8029 27 1/28'3"4.537.52

Player Overview

Kirk Ferentz continues to work his magic along the offensive line, with Blythe just the latest Hawkeyes blocker with a clear path to the NFL.

The four-year starter personifies dependability, emerging as a starter at right guard as a redshirt freshman and splitting duties between this position, center and left guard in 2014, earning Second Team All-Big Ten honors from rival coaches. He was entrenched at center as a senior for the surprising Hawkeyes.

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Has the short, squatty frame so conducive to winning the battle of leverage, showing impressive leg drive and the aggression to simply knock defenders backward. Uses his natural leverage advantage and strength to lock onto defenders.

Blythe plays with good knee bend to hold up to bull rushes, slides well laterally and carries dynamite in his hands to pop defenders, often surprising opponents with his power and knocking them to the turf. Shows some nastiness in his play, looking to pancake and land on top of opponents. He isn't just a pile driver, however, showing impressive agility and understanding of angles to sneak ahead of opponents and seal them off, creating easy lanes for his teammates to exploit.

Reliable snapper with good velocity and accuracy in the shotgun as well as the typical center-QB exchange. Three-time state champion as a wrestler with an Iowa record 143 career pins.

WEAKNESSES: While scouts will appreciate the versatility Blythe has shown at Iowa, he projects best at center in the NFL. He lacks ideal arm length (30 1/4") and can be steered off course when pitted one on one against defenders with a significant reach advantage. Though quick in a straight line, Blythe shows some stiffness when changing directions, struggling to redirect in close quarters.

IN OUR VIEW: Blythe may not come with the name recognition and length of some of the other top center prospects in 2016, but he's pro-ready, boasting the smarts, toughness and technique to project as a future starter who might still be available in the middle rounds.

--Rob Rang (@robrang) (2/4/16)

 
 
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