(WIVB) — Despite the fact that the Bills added some offensive linemen in free agency this spring, you can never have enough players in line to protect your quarterback.
Many scouts note that Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz as someone who has the talent to be a starting caliber center in the NFL.
Schmitz, a projected second round pick, anchored the offensive line for the Golden Gophers for the past two seasons, allowing just two sacks in over 1,600 snaps played. In 2022, he blocked for an offense that ran for 2,698 yards and 33 touchdowns, as well as passed for 2,369 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In 2021, the offense accumulated for 4,681 yards and over 25 points per game while he started every game at center. In 2021, the Golden Gophers finished 9-4, which included a bowl game win. In 2022 it was more of the same, a 9-4 record and a bowl game win.
“You’re the guy that sees the whole picture. Lets the o-line know that you’re in command you’re the leader you’re in charge of all the communication upfront, so you the whole line sees it five guys seeing it as one, so everyone’s on the same page so by taking control of that unit,” Schmitz said.
Schmitz, who is 6’4″ and weighs in at 301 pounds, looks to Bills center Mitch More as a player he studies.
“There’s a lot of great centers out there in the league, especially Mitch Morris. He’s definitely showed how valuable he is especially at the center position. I would just say his leadership. How connected that o-line room is and you see that and how they play,” Schmitz said.
With Schmitz as a guy who is likely not going to go in the first round, the Bills will have a shot to pick him up on the second night of the draft.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.
Josh Reed is an award-winning journalist who has served as News 4’s Sports Director since 2015. See more here.