Pat Elflein is one of my absolute favorite football players in the 2017 draft class. We are talking about one of the safest draft picks and the very best center in the draft. Elflein was a star wrestler in high school and his ability to win with hand technique and leverage really show up on tape. While he is a really poor athlete, he is praised for his leadership, work ethic and elite understanding of the position. With Elflein, you’re getting a starting center from day one who should be a key piece to an offensive line for many years to come.
Name: Pat Elflein
School: Ohio State
Class: RS Senior
Comparison: Travis Frederick (Dallas Cowboys)
Draft Grade: 1st Round
Hand Technique: Elflein is extremely technical with his hand technique in both the run and pass game. He flashes extremely heavy hands and stuns interior defensive lineman with a strong punch and functional play strength. Hands are extremely quick making it difficult for opposing defensive lineman to get in on his chest/body.
Toughness: Team captain and praised for his leadership and work ethic. Four year wrestler in high school and wrestled at an extremely high level. Aggressive with his hands and is always looking for extra work when he gets to the second level.
Power: Powerful punch to go along with the elite hand technique. Has a strong base allowing him to anchor against bigger interior defensive lineman. Can move defensive lineman against their own will but also understands how to win with leverage. Above average core strength allowing him to steer opposing defensive lineman away from the hole.
Balance: Not the best athlete in space but he’s a dancing bear in the sense that he always remains under control and understands how to win with leverage, steering opposing lineman away from their assignments. Sometimes struggles to keep balance out in space when asked to pull due to an extremely stiff lower half.
Football IQ: Disciplined football player who receives endless praise for his work ethic and leadership. Always under control and rarely misses his assignment. High football IQ should help him translate nicely as a NFL center.
Athleticism: Tested in the 3% tile as a NFL center. Really poor athlete and extremely stiff in space. Good news, there is no correlation between athleticism and successful NFL centers.
Strengths: Elflein is an extremely technical and tough interior offensive lineman. He has experience playing the guard and center positions and profiles nicely as an NFL center due to his football intelligence and leadership traits. Elflein wins with technical hand placement and understands how to win with leverage when facing bigger and more athletic defensive lineman. Elflein is a plug and play interior offensive lineman who should last a decade or more in today’s NFL.
Weaknesses: Really poor athlete who struggles to move out in space and will get beat by quicker defensive lineman. Elflein struggles with his footwork specifically in space and can lose balance when asked to pull.