Congratulations! Your team has just made the wonderful decision to draft Tyler Linderbaum! Like most new Tyler Linderbaum fans, you're no doubt filled with questions about your new family member. We here at GIA will try our best to answer any questions you might have.
HELLO BALTIMORE RAVENS!
Welcome to Baltimore, Tyler Linderbaum pic.twitter.com/le7hlkw7Vk— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 29, 2022
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT TYLER LINDERBAUM?
You can see his accolades in the next section (SPOILER: there are a lot of 'em), but in terms of what attributes make Linderbaum so impressive... he's just a complete package at center. He combines strong technique with excellent physical skills and outstanding football IQ to create a player who's been next-level good for most of his Iowa career. Oh, and he's that good despite only being a center for three seasons and change; he arrived at Iowa as a defensive lineman and moved to the offensive side of the ball while redshirting during his true freshman season. Safe to say that wound up being an excellent position switch for all parties involved.
Linderbaum has excellent burst and initial quickness, strong balance, and tremendous body control, all attributes that he honed on the mat as a standout high school wrestler. That's also where he cultivated his mean streak and his desire to drive opponents through the ground. Oh, and it's where he pinned former Iowa teammate and current All-Pro Tristan Wirfs when they were both high schoolers:
He applies consistent pressure on defenders and wears them down. He's an absolute menace in run blocking, where he loves to maul opponents and open holes for running backs -- or mobile quarterbacks! Lamar Jackson should have a blast running behind him. However, he's also strong in pass protection, with strong footwork, good use of his hands, and excellent posture. Oh, and his snaps are smooth, too, which is what you want out of a center, right?
WHAT DID HE DO THAT'S SO GREAT?
Linderbaum took over at center (replacing current NFL lineman and multi-year Iowa starter James Daniels) as a redshirt freshman and was an immediate fixture in the Iowa lineup. He made 33 starts over the past three seasons and immediately established him as one of the best centers in college football. He was a finalist for the Rimington Award (given to the best center in college football) after his redshirt sophomore season in 2020; he came back to Iowa in 2021 and won the Rimington this past season. He's been first team All-Big Ten the past two seasons and earned Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors this past season. He was a second team All-American in 2020 and a consensus unanimous first team All-American in 2021. He was considered one of the 2-3 best centers in college football in 2020 and was the unquestioned top center in college this past season. He was so good -- and so dominant -- that there were unironic campaigns for him to win the Heisman Trophy.
The most outstanding player might be the one who has current and former high-level players texting one another saying LOOK AT THIS MOTHERFR.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) October 29, 2021
Why Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum, Georgia DT Jordan Davis and Oregon DE Kayvon Thibodeaux belong on Heisman ballots. https://t.co/85Jv6B501Y pic.twitter.com/XAgyoxxMRK
So yeah: Tyler Linderbaum was a pretty good college football player at Iowa.
Buddy, he's an offensive lineman.
HOW ARE HIS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES?
Well, this is what he did at his Pro Day:
|40 YD DASH||BENCH PRESS||VERT JUMP||BROAD JUMP||3 CONE||20 YD SHUTTLE|
|4.98 sec||24 reps||32.5 in||110.5 in||7.14 sec||4.38 sec|
Do you need some context for those numbers? OK, we can do that:
Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum at his pro day (among iOL historically)— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) April 11, 2022
4.98 40 (96th percentile)
1.71 10 (93rd)
7.14 3-cone (100th)
4.38 pro agility (97th)
32.5 vertical (92nd)
110.5 broad (93rd)
I mean... that seems pretty, pretty good.
WHAT ABOUT THE BAD?
One of the few knocks on Linderbaum is one of his physical attributes -- notably, his arm length. His arms were measured at 31 1/8", which is slightly on the short side. Short arms have been a common ding on Iowa linemen over the last two decades -- we like our T-Rex armed big uglies, what can we say? -- but it's rarely stopped them from being incredibly effective, both at the college and NFL levels. I can assure you that "short arms" didn't stop Linderbaum from absolutely mauling opposing defenders on the regular over the last three years at Iowa. The other dings on him are size (he's a bit under 300 lbs), that some of his techniques need fine-tuning, and that he can get little too aggressive on blocking opponents downfield. Linderbaum loves to drill guys into the turf; that's generally a pretty good problem to have in an offensive lineman.
WAS THIS A GOOD PICK?
Hell yeah. Linderbaum was the best center in college football, the best center prospect in this draft, and one of the top offensive line prospects overall. There's not much he isn't at least good at -- and there's a whole lot that he's absolutely great at. His ferocity at the point of attack and consistent physicality could definitely remind Ravens fans of another former Iowa offensive lineman -- Marshall Yanda. He had a pretty good NFL career if memory serves. In Linderbaum, the Ravens are getting one of the most NFL-ready prospects, a player who can contribute at a high level from day one and whose ceiling is legitimately "multi-year Pro Bowler" -- that seems like a hell of a good pick to us. Congrats, Ravens fans -- enjoy the LinderBOOMs headed your way.