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NFL Draft Profile: Minnesota Gopher center John Michael Schmitz

Minnesota Gopher center John Michael Schmitz is a 1st round caliber center, but here will he be drafted?

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Minnesota v Penn State Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Last year Daniel Faalele ended a very long drought of Gopher offensive linemen getting drafted. This year, John Michael Schmitz is not only going to make it back-to-back years but there’s a chance that he may also end up being the first Gopher offensive lineman drafted in the 1st round since Brian Williams in 1989.


Ht: 6’3.5”
Wt: 301
40 yd dash: 5.35
Bench press: 26 reps
Vertical: 29.5”

Minnesota Career

Schmitz started 35 games over his Gopher career and has been a part of some very good teams. Later in the 2019 season he moved into the starting lineup at center and anchored that position for the next 3 seasons.

After this past year, Schmitz was named a 1st team All-American by both the AP and FWAA. This goes along with being named 1st team All-Big Ten and 2nd team All-Big Ten in 2021.

Scouting Report

What stands out about JMS is that he plays with a lot of tenacity and toughness. He is big for the position and rarely makes mistakes. analysis of Schmitz.

“Schmitz is a highly consistent zone-scheme center with decent size. He is well-schooled in all phases of the run game. He consistently uses the proper footwork and angles to find early positioning and has the tenacity to finish blocks at a high rate. He has plus football intelligence and makes the calls for his offense. His drive power is average and he can be hit-or-miss getting to second-level targets. Schmitz lacks length and his edges will get a little leaky in pass protection from time to time, but his overall technique and teamwork in the run game should create a plug-and-play opportunity in the pros.”

While at Minnesota he got extensive experience in a zone blocking scheme and does a great job understanding the angles he needs to take and he then is able to use his size and strength to lock on to the defender and keep them engaged.

Whatever NFL team he lands on is going to appreciate his attention to detail and will grow to love how he plays with extreme toughness.


Ultimately he is a consensus 1st round talent but playing at a position that is not often drafted in the 1st round. A team that already runs a zone blocking scheme would be best, but not necessary.

The Draft

There seem to be plenty of experts who think that Schmitz to the Giants at 25 is a good fit. Other than that, he tends to be falling into the first half of the 2nd round. The Giants seem to be a popular destination for JMS who would then be reunited with former Gopher Carter Coughlin.

Mock Drafts