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2024 NFL Draft

Analyst: 10 Centers from 2024 NFL Draft That Could Start

Brandon Thorn, a prominent offensive line analyst, believes there are ten players who could end up starting at center in the 2024 class.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Graham Barton

The Pittsburgh Steelers center needs someone there, with only Nate Herbig as someone they could trust to start right now. And just how many starters from that group are there? Brandon Thorn, known as the offensive line guru and analyst with connections around the league, believes that there could be as many as ten starters from this center class that end up as starters.

“As I finish the later round OL prospects this class the center group has become the clear-cut best I’ve seen over the last four drafts of watching all the OL. Over their rookie contracts, I don’t think it’s crazy to say we can see as many as 10 guys start games at the pivot,” Thorn said on X
It goes beyond Graham Barton, Jackson Powers-Johnson, Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, and Zach Frazier. Others that Thorn named later in the thread were guys like Dominick Puni, Mason McCormick, Cooper Beebe, and others who could play other spots on the offensive line but might fit in at center. Beyond that, there are natural centers like Tanor Bortolini, Hunter Nourzad, and Beaux Limmer.
Reports from ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Field Yates indicate that the top centers could fall, which could open the door for the Steelers to nab one of the top centers from the class.

“You see where we are with Jackson Powers-Johnson, I see a lot of first-round mocks with him, but most of my friends in the NFL, they are thinking more second round,” Kiper said on the First Draft Podcast. “They don’t get some of the mocks. But hey, those mocks are talking to their people; we don’t talk to everybody. But I will say on Jackson Powers-Johnson, my intel says second round on him.”

Kiper and Yates broke down Yates’ latest mock draft, in which he had Powers-Johnson at 35th and Frazier at 37th. The intel that Yates got back from the people he talked to is that he was too high on the centers.

“Mel, I mocked them early in the second round, obviously, and the feedback that I have gotten since this mock dropped is that both of the centers were too high — both Jackson Powers-Johnson and Zach Frazier,” Yates said. “Graham Barton, he’s an unimpeachable first round pick. I might have been too low on Barton with him at 20th overall. But I think that’s the range, though, somewhere in the first part of the second half of the first round.”

But on Saturday, Kiper released his big board of rankings. All three of those players? They’re nowhere to be found. And interestingly, while Barton is the top center, Frazier comes before Powers-Johnson. The signals continue to come for the Steelers that there might be a much softer market for center despite apparent needs for the position across the league. It is a position that is routinely discounted in drafts, though, so it naturally tracks. But the team needs to find a center, and it seems like most analysts believe it’s a great class to have that need.