Cowboys Draft: C John Michael Schmitz – The Draft’s top Center

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Since the departure of All Pro Center, Travis Frederick, the Dallas Cowboys haven’t been entirely stable at the position. Tyler Biadasz helped that with a Pro Bowl caliber season that can help drive up his price tag when he becomes a free agent after the 2023 season. Forward-thinking will lead the Cowboys front office to take a quality look at Minnesota Center, John Michael Schmitz.

Most positions can be debated, but there’s little question regarding who the best Center in the 2023 NFL Draft is.

John Michael Schmitz could be the next great Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman.

John Michael Schmitz was a three star recruit out of high school and the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2018 and has done nothing but rack up accolade after accolade. In 2022 alone, he was selected as AP 1st team All America, FWAA 1st team All America, Walter Camp 2nd team All America, and 1st team All Big 10 by coaches and media. To top it off, John Michael Schmitz has been Academic All Big 10 every year while at school.

Starting every game at center, John Michael Schmitz helped lead the Golden Gophers to 2,700 rushing yards and 33 rushing touchdowns. A large part of this is because Schmitz is an outstanding communicator, great on reach blocks, and times, double teams well.

While he is certainly a plus pass protector it’s the run game where John Michael Schmitz dominates and would catch the eye of the Dallas Cowboys front office. His quickness and power off the line. His persistent and explosive lower body creates great movement in the run game.

While his pass protection may not be at the same level as his run blocking, Schmitz has played enough college games (57 games played) that trusting his experience will not be an issue.

John Michael Schmitz was a bright spot at the Senior Bowl as well. He established himself as perhaps the most consistent offensive lineman to participate and consistency is key.

Where John Michael Schmitz will be drafted: There’s no doubt he’s a 1st round talent. The question that comes into play is the perceived value of a center to go along with what teams will be needing with their first pick.

Should he go in the first round?

Yes, but it’s understandable if he falls into round two.

For the Dallas Cowboys, however, it’s unfathomable to think the fall goes all the way to pick 58. So, if the Cowboys want him, they may need to either use pick 26 or trade up significantly in the second round. Neither seem likely, but with this player you’d be set at the position for the foreseeable future.