For Those Who Stomp Their Feet For A Center

April 5th, 2024

Georgia center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger.

This is for the loud crowd that wants Bucs center Robert Hainsey deported from any Tampa zip code.

Look, Joe doesn’t care if the Bucs draft a center or not, so long as it is not in the first round. The highest-paid centers (read: better centers) average getting drafted late in the third round.

Besides, a first-round pick should be only used on playmakers and an offensive tackle. The Bucs have their starting tackles. Joe has yet to see a center or guard make a game-changing play in a tight game. That’s generally reserved for those who touch the ball after the snap.

Joe was talking to draft analyst Sean Sullivan, the general manager of Bill Currie Ford. He told Joe he’d like to see the Bucs draft this Sedrick Van Pran-Granger from Georgia.

Sullivan’s logic was sound.

Georgia, a dominant program, likes to play ground-and-pound and the Bucs want to be a ground-and-pound team. Sullivan felt no top center in college ball is more adept at run blocking than this Van Pran-Granger, the rest play in passing offenses.

Here is what Emory Hunt of CBS, the Czar of the Playbook, had to say about Van Pran-Granger in his 2024 Football Gameplan Draft Guide.

– I like how athletic he is from a movement standpoint. He can coverage a lot of ground when out on screen plays, pulls and when climbing to the second level.
– He’s always looking for work, never satisfied and will give maximum effort on his blocks each rep. While recovery isn’t the cleanest, he is capable of running a defender out of the play.
– Good functional strength to wash a defender down or stonewall him when he has to combo block in the run game.

Areas of Improvement:
– Tends to be a waist bender and because of it, defenders have an easier time slipping his blocks, as he doesn’t have the proper/consistent leverage to sustain it.
– Footwork is inconsistent in pass pro, which can leave him susceptible to those who can effectively bull rush.
– Has shown inconsistency in picking up stunts and twists. Can be late to switch off defenders.

In Hunt’s grading system, Hunt has Van Pran-Granger projected as a “solid NFL starter.”

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht usually likes Big Ten/Rust Belt offensive linemen or small school guys from the Midwest. Van Pran-Granger would be a departure from Licht’s offensive line pattern as he played in the SEC.

Given how physical the SEC is across the board, Joe is confident this Van Pran-Granger will be fine in the NFL.

49 Responses to “For Those Who Stomp Their Feet For A Center”

  1. Dave Pear Says:

    Jason crafted the Bucs Super Bowl OL. Losing four of them at the snap of a finger, he’s scrambling to rebuild it. It took some time to get over the Lovie Smith era of the 2014 worst of all time offensive lines. This won’t be as difficult, but Jason will keep grinding. I’d bet on another small school pick and maybe one of these other dudes that all the wannabe GMs see on TV on Saturdays and think that’s a way to tell if someone can play in the NFL.

    After watching 2022-2023, and then going back and watching 2020-2021, there is no comparison. It was obvious the Bucs of the Arians years could do whatever they wanted offensively thanks to the O-line.

    Not any more.

  2. BuucccNASTY Says:

    The truth is Licht will prbly draft a olineman most of us have never heard of in the early rounds, possibly as high as 2nd. Most of us willl say “Whoo???” And scratch our head. He will most likely turn into a good to maybe very good player. No worries to those banging the Oline drum well prbly be fine.

  3. DoooshLaRue Says:

    This is for the loud crowd that wants Bucs center Robert Hainsey deported from any Tampa zip code.

    Who is this “crowd?”
    I think most of us think Hainsey is a keeper just not at C.
    Good depth at worst.

  4. Simeon4HOF Says:

    I like Van Pran. He’s one of the top 4 at C before the quality takes a dip. Don’t think he will still be there in the 3rd tho is the concern. So it’s gotta be him or Frazier in the 2nd or JPJ or Barton in the first. Van Pran is a very good C and could be a plug and play, but after him not much left at this position. I’d love for the Bucs to draft Van Pran if they don’t take another Top C, but he will likely go as is early 3rd so

  5. Simeon4HOF Says:

    If I’m studying the Bucs Roster tho and looking at the Draft, I very much care if the Bucs draft a C or not. Hainsey ain’t gotts leave town, he oughta compete at G and back whoever we draft in the 1st or 2nd up

  6. MadMax Says:

    Powers will be the largest Center ever drafted….and watch his speed and agility and nastiness. The last time we had a draft and I was pushing for this big O line guy with speed and agility and nastiness, his name was Tristan Wirfs. And yeah, we traded up for him. Feeling it now with this kid too!

    I rest my case.

    And im on record many times saying I love Hainsey. Do not want him “run out of town” He will probably be our best option for starting LG. Come on now.

  7. OrlandoBucsFan Says:

    Edge rusher first then center or receiver next. I’d like to see the draft czar give us his take on a running back as well

  8. Simeon4HOF Says:

    I like Hainsey too … as a LG and backup C

  9. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Still think the strongest draft is trading up w our 3rd to get Verse if he drops a lil, and taking Frazier or Van Pran in Rd 2. With the Gregory signing not sure if that’s gonna happen, seem more likely to stand pat in either round for the Edge maybe even trading down some to pick up a pic. One way or another we still need to draft Edge and Center before anything else tho, not doing so would put us out of of range for instant impact players at these positions in this draft

  10. Greg Says:

    When it comes to O Line I am perfectly happy not worrying about it. Jason Licht has proven over and over again that he knows O-Line and he is more capable than we are in determining draft value. When Jensen went down he was caught off guard. When it happened right at the same time Marpet retired unexpectedly? Jesus. He made do and we won the division three more times after all that and winning the Super Bowl.

    With all that said he might be better off hiring a drunk monkey to throw darts when it comes to picking running backs and edge defenders. =)

  11. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Best no trade up draft for us … C, Edge, WR, RB, TE, S
    And next year CB in Rd 1

  12. Olboy Says:

    “Joe has yet to see a center or guard make a game-changing play in a tight game. ”

    Yep, the last two years havent seen much game changing play at those two positions. Hence the need
    Remember that one time when Jensen blocked that one guy, giving Brady time to drops that dime….time and time again. Remember that time when hainsey got blocked into Tom Brady’s lap…time and time again.
    I am truly excited to see whom JL snags in the first or an early second off a trade back. It’s time for some early big uglies

  13. Simeon4HOF Says:

    As Ira said … Start with the anchor

  14. Bucs Guy Says:

    I want one of the top 3 Edge rushers, but doubt they will be there. There are no other Edge rushers worthy of a 1st rd pick. There are at least 6 that could be available in the 2nd. I like Isaa, Kneeland and Braswell.

    As others stated, there are 4 top Centers and at least 8 teams that could pick a C in td 1 or 2. They are Seattle, Rams, Pitt, Miami, Philly, Dallas, Baltimore and Carolina. My fear is none of rhe top 4 Centers will be available by the time the Bucs are on the clock in the 2nd rd. If the top 3 Edge are gone an, JPJ or Barton are available, you should grab one of them. If not, try to trade back and get Frazier or Van Pran. Unless JL has some unknown small school C he knows, the Bucs may have Hainsey at C again. Our running game needs to improve to at least middle of the pack (16th in the NFL). We can’t finish in last again if we hope to get better and make it farther in the playoffs towards a SB.

    Hainsey is a below average starter at C and should be replaced — not run out of town. He was supposed to be competing for G against Stinnie 2 years ago, but Jensen got hurt and Hainsey got thrown into being the starting C because he was the best the Bucs had on the roster. Same thing last year. Let him compete at the position he was meant to play,

  15. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Zach Frazier from West Virginia. 4x State Champion for wrestling. Who else was a state champion wrestler? Tristan Wirfs. Doesn’t look like it, but he’s a mean sob too.

  16. Bucs Guy Says:

    A few years ago, Pro Football Reference did a 10-year study of the draft and every player selected looking at if they were a starter for at least half their career. It found 83% of OL selected in the 1st rd became long term starters. That’s the highest success rate for any position. Everyone agrees you must hit on your 1st rd pick. Don’t reach in the 1st. The second rd success rate for OL is 70% and drops to 40% in the 3rd. OL numbers include T, G and C.

    For DL, the success rate is 58% in the ffirst and then 26-27% in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. That’s the lowest success rate in both the 1st and 2nd rds for any position. DL numbers include DT and Edge.

    There are lots of ways to interpret this data. Given the low number of Edge rushers worthy of a 1st rd grade (only 3 IMO), you take one if available or trade up to get one if they get to the 20s. If not, don’t reach for Edge in the 1st and instead go for IOL. That means JPJ or Barton if available or trade back.

    Every year teams are looking for Edge rushers (top 9 players with 1st or 2nd round grades). On average 13 DL are taken in the first 2 rounds. This year there are more teams looking for C than normal (Bucs ÷ 8 others) with only 4 top Centers (higher than most years). On average 9 OL are drafted in the 1st and 2nd rounds. JL needs to ask by the time the Bucs get to pick in the 2nd, is it more likely one of the top 9 Edge rushers or top 4 Centers is still available? I believe everyone can agree we would like to see the Bucs come away with one of each as these are the biggest needs.

  17. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Since neither Joe seems to think the Bucs need to draft a C and move Hainsey back to his natural position of G/backup IOL … should the Bucs not nail a top Center .. there should be no complaining from them after the Bucs go into the Season with virtually the same Oline and same results, as in inability to run inside and pressure up the middle. Can’t figure out why Joe would want to keep Hainsey at C when the simple solution to fixing the entire Oline is replacing him in the middle of it

  18. Esteban85 Says:

    Hainsey is an important player on this team and I don’t know anyone who would run such a versatile offensive lineman out of town. I think every team needs a serviceable backup center/right guard such as Hainsey with 2 NFL seasons as a starting center for experience. With that being said we could use a starting caliber talent at center. I am hoping we trade back and get a Frazier or Van Pran and also a Marshawn Kneeland somehow.

  19. Bucs Guy Says:

    I believe both Joes fail to realize the Bucs running backs are not playmakers on the ground because of the IOL. So indirectly, by fixing your IOL in the 1st rd, you will turn your existing RBs into playmaker.

  20. heyjude Says:

    I like Hainsey and as others have commented, needs to be placed in his original position. If we could get Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, that would be great! Unfortunately, rumors are that the Steelers want him too. We do need an edge rusher first though.

  21. Toad Bowels Says:

    Sean Sullivan has done several excellent draft preview podcasts. In those he had said he hoped that the box would take a quarterback if one of the top six prospects slips to their pic k at 27. I don’t agree that’s a need particularly after resigning Baker Mayfield and still having an unproven Kyle Trask available to back him up. If Baker where to go down with an injury, let’s see what we have in Kyle Trask.

    However, another conclusion that John Sullivan had was that’s this year The draft is also extremely strong have wide receiver. If one of the top wide receiver prospects should be available at the box pick, it makes a lot of sense to grab him. As one of the Joe’s is quite fond of saying this is now a wide receiver league, and although we have Evans, Godwin, and several others you can never have too many wide receivers. Also Godwin has a huge contract that either needs to be restructured or perhaps Godwin needs to be traded next year to address cap concerns. I’d hate to see God when go as he is the number two bucks wide receiver of all time and I would love nothing more for both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to finish their careers as buccaneers. Another wide receiver makes a lot of sense, particularly as the box offense does not feature a tight end very much.

    If not for a wide receiver or edge rusher, I would hope that Jason like would trade out of the first round for an additional top pick which would help the team address another position.

    In my mind, some combination of wide receiver (as Sean Sullivan noted it’s the strength of this here’s draft), edge rusher, middle linebacker, cornerback should be the first four picks using BPA to determine the order. Trading out of the first round to get another second round pick and perhaps a third rounder would allow the Bucs to also select a top player had either one of these positions (doubling down) or perhaps a safety, running back, tight end, or defensive lineman who has fallen and is a great value.

  22. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe … ‘A first-round pick should be only used on playmakers and an offensive tackle. The Bucs have their starting tackles. Joe has yet to see a center or guard make a game-changing play in a tight game.’

    Focusing solely on ‘game-changing plays’ seems like a short-sighted criteria for Rnd 1 picks Joe. There’s only 1 player who handles the ball for sure on every single play … the Center (OK, or the long-snapper). Obviously needs to be very intelligent & be a very good leader (setting formations, etc), but even more importantly needs to be strong like bull & quick.

    Hainsey had all those down pat IMO, except the ‘strong like bull’ part. He did an admirable job taking over for Jensen, but it was obvious last season that he’s not the long-term answer at Center. I suspect he’d probably fare better at Guard (according to what many others have said), but there’s no way to know that at this point. Let him compete there though.

    There are several seemingly quality Center candidates in this year’s draft. None of us have a clue who’ll be there when we pick at #26 (assuming we stay there). But I’d much rather see us grab one of them than draft someone later on who we have to develop. Assuming that he can be developed of course.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs Guy … Love the analysis. Spot on. Kudos.

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    DooshLaRue … ‘Who is this “crowd?”

    Joe’s obviously feeling very melodramatic this morning. Paints with a very broad brush.

  25. Brian in St Pete Says:

    No, offensive linemen don’t “make game winning plays” on final drives of games, but to dismiss the importance of having a great line is foolish. I imagine if given a choice between an elite OL and average to poor skill players or an average to poor line and elite playmakers, most coaches and GMs would take the former. If a QB is on his ass less than a second after the snap or if a RB has 4 guys draped on him before getting back to the line of scrimmage an offense won’t be very successful.

  26. Permanently Moderated Says:

    No one wants Hainsey gone. Quit making stuff up for filler.

  27. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I”ve been saying for a long time to get an SEC lineman. Those guys are the most likely to be plug and play.

  28. SenileSenior Says:

    Great conversation so far. The consensus seems to be center and edge rusher should be our first two picks. Circumstances will dictate the order of the picks. I am glad to get some of the more likely names here. I do not have any favorites yet.

    Go Bucs!!!

  29. Doolnutts Says:

    It’s flawed logic not taking a center round 1 just because it’s round 1. If Lichts scouts think he’s worth it he’s DEFINITELY worth it. JL’s crew draft OL better than any other Bucs gm I’ve ever seen and they deserve benefit of the doubt. I’m not in love with a center going round 1 BUT again if we do it I won’t be mad because there’s a chance he’ll be a complete stud. If it happens maybe Hainey kicks to LG.

  30. Boss Says:

    That’s a big boy….looks strong too. Looks better than jpj imo. Yes

  31. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “The highest-paid centers (read: better centers) average getting drafted late in the third round.”

    I can’t let go if this miscalculated conclusion lol. There is only 1 C in the top 15 paid centers that was drafted in the 3rd round. They are all pretty much top 2 rounds or 5th-undrafted.

    Top paid centers and round they were drafted:

    1-Kelce 6th
    2-Ragnow 1st
    3-Jensen 6th
    4-Linsley 5th
    5-Cushberry 3rd
    6-Kelly 1st
    7-McCoy 2nd
    8-Biadasz 4th
    9-James undrafted
    10-Williams 2nd
    11-Brewer undrafted
    12-Karras undrafted
    13-Pocic 2nd
    14-Morse 2nd
    15-Bradberry 1st

    7/15 were top 2 round picks. 6/15 were 5th-undrafted. Only 2 were in that R3-R4 range.

    Of the 6/15 later round guys, only Andre Dillard & Corey Brewer are semi-young at 27. The rest are 31+.

    So narrowing further to recent trends, the vast majority of high performing centers drafted within the last like 5 years are top 2 round picks.

  32. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Also agree with others that we trust in Licht’s OL evaluations. If he thinks a C is worth a R1 pick who are we to question it lol

  33. JimBobBuc Says:

    At 26 pick JPJ, Barton, or Laitu. If they’re gone, trade down to early Rd2 to pick the best available C/G. Most of the good C are projected to go early in Rd2 before the Bucs pick. We need to pick an IOL who can play right away, not a Licht project OT moved into IOL that would take a couple years to be good.

  34. Stanglassman Says:

    Kinda light, not great lateral quickness and a bit of a heavy-legged waist bender with a limited ceiling. But I do think he’s gonna be a good nfl center. He is much better the what we have. If the Bucs hadn’t addressed the C need beforehand. I like him in the 3rd at #89, love him at #93 but think it is too much of a reach in the 2nd at #56.

  35. catcard202 Says:

    100% for SPVG in the 3rd round…If he’s on the board.
    Otherwise, get Hainsey on squat rack 3x a week.

  36. Saskbucs Says:

    I see a lot of good posts. Just want to add to the chorus here, I don’t have a problem with Hainsey but the quality of C play dropped going from Jensen to him. If a C that JL likes is sitting there at 26 as best option, I am all for it. The hope being that rookie is a better pivot than Hainsey and then we have a solid backup and guy competing at LG.

    I voted IOL but would rather an edge. If Verse and Latu are gone though, I prefer JPJ and Barton, maybe Frazier over Chop etc. just seems like an IOL in the first can have a quicker impact for this team than other positions.

  37. Jerseybuc Says:

    We will draft a center within the first 3 picks I believe. Watch Jason Kelce play over the last couple years and tell me he is not a difference maker. We have also not been able to control the line of scrimmage inside the 10 yard line, and that is specifically due to the weakness inside.

  38. Rob Says:

    Hey Joe,

    Are you open to drafting a stud RT in the 1st round and moving Goedeke to RG and moving Cody Mauch to either LG or C? Then we can draft C or LG, whichever Mauch doesn’t play, in the 3rd round. I’d draft a DT or WR with 2nd round pick.

  39. Thundersack Says:

    @Bucs Guy

    Thanks for sharing that data on OL success rate by draft round. I had not come across that before and am a huge advocate of drafting OL early if needed.

  40. unbelievable Says:

    If there is one position I have complete faith in Jason Licht when it comes to drafting, it’s definitely o-line.

    Hainsey is really the only lineman who we hasnt been at worst, above average. (Too early to tell on Mauch IMO)

  41. chark Says:

    later round guy I would keep my eye on is drake nugent from michigan

  42. CallTheSaltTruck Says:

    “Joe has yet to see a center or guard make a game-changing play in a tight game.”

    If you’ve never seen a center or guard smash into a d-lineman and open a hole a truck could run through, letting their RB or QB walk into the endzone untouched- then you haven’t been looking for it. And that’s something we’ve been missing for the last two years. It’s why our rushing attack is dead last.

  43. kaimaru Says:

    Joe doesn’t read or reply to these as he knows he is a liar saying that late 3rd round picks are were centers go. There is almost always 2 to 5 in the first two rounds see if you don’t believe me joe. Oh wait, you don’t care and spew the same crap

  44. Tony marks Says:

    CallTheSaltTruck Says:
    April 5th, 2024 at 2:08 pm
    “Joe has yet to see a center or guard make a game-changing play in a tight game.”

    If you’ve never seen a center or guard smash into a d-lineman and open a hole a truck could run through, letting their RB or QB walk into the endzone untouched- then you haven’t been looking for it.


    How does anyone who has watched the NFL for years even if not looking for it not even stumble upon seeing it? Its not a matter or not seeing it. Its a matter of beign too foolishly stubbon to admit it.

  45. BUCman Says:

    Our problem last year was the offensive line getting pushed back up the middle. How does drafting a light center weighing under 300lb help fix this. We need a large strong center like JPJ that can hold his own. A consultation prize would be Frazier but definitely not Van Pran-Granger.

  46. Larrd Says:

    I was on board with drafting Van Pran. But once the hyphens come out, I am out!

  47. Duane in Sanford Says:

    How many centers get drafted in the first round every year? It cant even be a handful. Now how many centers are there with first round grades? Gotta add context. The benefit of better guard and center play is that you dont have to notice the worst run game in the league, and unnecessary pressure up the middle against your undersized quarterback. How many edge rushers have we drafted in the top 3 rounds in the last 20 years? How many were 10 sack guys?

  48. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    Rewatch the Bucs v Lions playoff game.

    Watch the last play of our offense where Baker Mayfield threw an interception.

    Robert Hainsey got destroyed by a blitzing LB right up the middle who immediately pressured and hit Baker Mayfield.

    There are many Bucs fans like me that want the atrocious play of Hainsey who caused problems like that at center to be fixed.

    Maybe we didn’t get to see those high round draft pick impact players like Baker, ME13 and CG13 lead us down the field against Detroit in a last minute victory drive because those unimportant interior offensive linemen were giving up the pirate booty to the Line’s pass rush.

    SMH 🤦‍♂️

  49. BUCman Says: