Is Luke Wypler the best center for Chicago Bears in 2023 NFL draft?
The Chicago Bears appear to be set to draft a center in the 2023 NFL draft. One of the more prominently known names is Ohio State center Luke Wypler. When should the Bears be interested, and what is his NFL comparison?
Chicago Bears NFL Draft Profile: Ohio State center Luke Wypler
As a redshirt sophomore, Luke Wypler is one of the younger players in the 2023 NFL draft. He got onto the field for his redshirt freshman season and started through the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He went from eight penalties as an RS. Fr. to just three the following season.
Overall, he played 1,702 snaps all at center with 965 coming in pass protection. During his career, he has had 500 run-blocking snaps as a zone blocker, which is 68% of his run-blocking snaps. Luke Wypler was invited to the NFL combine and highlighted his athletic profile.
He is highly athletic, but you can see that he has to be because he is a bit undersized. His height is a bit shorter, and his weight is average, but the question will come down to his arm length. It is not nearly as much of an issue at the center as it is at tackle, but he will have to show that it will not be a problem.
How Luke Wypler translates to the NFL
Ohio State ran a primary zone blocking scheme, and that is where Wypler will fit best in the NFL. He is at his best when he can get out in space and pull into the second level as a zone blocker. Wypler also does a great job flipping his hips on reach blocks to seal off run-blocking lanes.
In pass protection, he is smart and can help the quarterback pre-snap. He does a solid job of pointing out twists and stunts, and he reacts well to them. However, some of his biggest issues come in pass protection when someone is lined up right over him.
Players with overwhelming power, strength, and length have been able to walk him right into the quarterback's lap. Beyond that, he is not going to be as effective in a power-rushing scheme. It limits what he does best and will highlight his lack of power. There were questions that Wypler would go back to Ohio State, put on muscle, and then try to improve his draft stock next year.
NFL Comparison for Ohio State Center Luke Wypler
The best NFL comparison for Luke Wypler is Garrett Bradbury. They have similar athletic and physical profiles and Bradbury has the same arm length. The same reasons Bradbury was a first-round pick are the same reasons a team will love Wypler. He is smart and can work well in space.
However, power rushers bulldoze him and it has been an issue. Last year was the best Bradbury played and it showed that with time to add muscle, and in the right scheme, he can be effective. Still, he will always lose to the Dexter Lawrence of the world, and Luke Wypler will be at a disadvantage in those same matchups.
Should Chicago Bears draft Luke Wypler?
Luke Wypler is projected to go in the late second or third round, around 68th overall. The Chicago Bears have three picks right before that. Islong-term the Bears pick at 63 the actual floor for him? The team would like a long term center, and they would be betting on the best days being down the road for Wypler.
Still, he is a great fit for the zone-blocking scheme that Luke Getsy wants to run. The Bears will see if they can work with his length and strength. If they can, you can bet the Chicago Bears will draft him in late round two.