John Michael Schmitz 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Has played in 44 career games with 23 career starts (all at center) entering the 2022 CFB season
- Sixth-year senior; will be a 24-year-old rookie in 2023
- Played left tackle for his junior and senior seasons in high school
- Scheme tendencies: RPO-heavy, frequent use of wide zone rushing concepts
- 2022 projected role: Starting center
Pros: John Michael Schmitz is a powerful center who offers the kind of stature that would shine in an inside zone and between the tackles gap running system. Offering effective punch and pad power as a run blocker, Schmitz projects as someone capable of generating the needed wash in the front to allow backs and lead blockers to hit gaps with confidence. There’s a stout anchor in pass protection as well. Schmitz does well against both interior blockers and second-level pressure players to slam the door shut and sit down on his hips to prevent collapse into his quarterback’s lap. What really got me excited, however, was the ability to execute cut-off and reach blocks when runs needed to gain a man to the run strength—Schmitz showcased surprising lateral mobility but also very efficient hands to twist and manipulate defenders to allow his guard to push and release to the second level. A three-year starter at center, this is a player who identifies pressure opportunities with consistency, as he illustrated against the Wisconsin Badgers at the end of the 2021 season. He processes front movement well and stays patient to ensure action doesn’t fold back his way before committing and pushing off his landmark to transition into a help blocker.
Cons: While his ability to execute reach blocks and add numbers to the front is a surprising quality, I’m not fully certain John Michael Schmitz is well suited for wide and outside zone concepts with regularity. Schmitz will, when needing to string out the point of attack, seemingly overextend himself and his long-range athleticism appears to be a limiting factor. On these reps, he’ll get caught with his weight out overtop of his toes, allow his balance to whittle away, and lunge and miss contact. I’d like to see this cleaned up before considering him a universal prospect. Quick-footed interior defenders did test him at times when climbing as well—consistency in his angles is an area where polish can be afforded. Schmitz has played exclusively as a center during his time at Minnesota; he’s got a build to play guard and did play tackle in high school but any level of versatility is something I’d consider a bonus, not a strength of his resume.
John Michael Schmitz NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs