116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Iowa center and All-American Tyler Linderbaum will declare for the NFL Draft “after a lot of discussion,” he announced Friday morning on social media.
“These last four years have been nothing short of amazing,” Linderbaum said in the graphic he tweeted. “Being able to play the game I love with the best teammates and coaches in front of the best fan base in the world has been a dream come true.”
Several draft experts have projected Linderbaum as a first-round pick in this year’s draft.
A CBS mock draft released Thursday projected the Cleveland Browns to take Linderbaum with the 13th overall pick. ESPN’s Todd McShay had Linderbaum going 16th to the Cincinnati Bengals in his mock draft released last month.
Newsday published a mock draft Monday with Linderbaum going as high as fifth to the New York Giants.
The Solon native was the 2021 recipient of the Rimington Trophy, which goes to the best center in college football, along with a litany of other awards.
Linderbaum received unanimous consensus All-America honors in 2021, sweeping the first-team spots on the five preeminent All-America teams.
Pro Football Focus named him its Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, a rare honor for an offensive lineman. PFF also graded him as the top center in college football in both 2020 and 2021. He was the fifth-best in 2019.
The 6-foot-3 junior anchored an offensive line in 2021 that was otherwise relatively inexperienced. He began the 2021 season with 21 career starts. No other offensive lineman had 10 or more.
“The challenge would be a lot more without a guy like Tyler Linderbaum in the middle kind of steadying the ship,” offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz told The Gazette in a news conference during Iowa’s bye week.
Linderbaum took 908 of Iowa’s 934 snaps in 2021, per PFF. No other starting offensive lineman had more than 750. Most of the 26 snaps where Linderbaum wasn’t on the field came during Iowa’s 51-14 rout of Maryland.
Off the field, Linderbaum used his name, image and likeness to raise about $30,000 for the University of Iowa’s Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
“All the physical stuff, I think that’s for anybody to see,” Ferentz said in the October news conference. “Who he is as a person when he shows up every day regardless and goes to work and does his absolute best to be his best, that’s what makes him special.”
Freshman Michael Myslinski appears to be in a prime position to take over at center although other options include Matt Fagan or someone in the transfer portal.
At the other offensive line positions, Iowa is expected to have three players return in 2022 who have started at least 10 games — Mason Richman, Connor Colby and Cody Ince.
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