The Iowa Hawkeyes have kept their consistency in the NCAA throughout the past couple of years. They have produced several high-quality football players during this period.
Among them are Brandon Scherff, T.J. Hockenson, and Tristan Wirfs, who helped his Tampa Bay Buccaneers grab the Super Bowl in his rookie season. This feat undoubtedly made Tristan get on the right path to join the list of the best NFL players from Iowa.
Awards and college recognition
Wirfs was their most recent NFL product before sending Tyler Linderbaum to the Baltimore Ravens. The 22-year-old center has been recognized as one of the hidden gems in Iowa during the pandemic. Linderbaum twice made the First-Team All-Big Ten which further increased his chances of making his way to the NFL.
Winning the Rimington Trophy last year gave him the edge over his colleagues in college football. Previous winners of this prize include Maurkice Pouncey from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ryan Kelly from the Indianapolis Colts.
Being recognized as the best center in the NCAA is something to be proud of, but it also raises the expectations through the roof, and many players were unable to unleash their potential after that.
A mixture of technique and strength
Tyler Linderbaum was eventually selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft by the struggling Baltimore Ravens. Ever since winning the Super Bowl in 2012, the team has been going downhill, unable to win a single Divisional Round in the Playoffs. Linderbaum became the first center to be selected by the Ravens in the draft’s first round.
His main priority during his Rookie Season would be to protect Lamar Jackson at all costs. He is expected to use his staggering size in his favor and provide one-of-a-kind service to John Harbaugh and his team. Linderbaum has improved a lot throughout his spell in Iowa, but he will need to elevate his game to keep his place in the starting line-up.
On top of everything else, the solid center worked out with the Ravens’ legendary guard, Marshal Yanda, who has been part of the team for 13 straight years between 2007 and 2019.
Linderbaum’s technique and ability to climb to level two further add value to the Ravens, as he has already managed to deny the opposition’s defense on several occasions. The 22-year-old certainly has all the needed qualities to help his quarterback fight for MVP this season.
Even though his size has caused some debates early on in his NFL career, Linderbaum impressed the Ravens’ head coach. However, his 305 pounds for a six-foot and two-inch player seem to be quite concerning as these parameters significantly increase his chances of picking up an injury.
His lack of experience might also take its toll on him, but with the correct approach, he can easily find his space in the Ravens and the NFL.
The team from Baltimore relies much on its offensive line as this was the main reason they went 14-2 back in 2019 when they still had Marshal Wanda and Orlando Brown Jr. However, even in their absence, with players like Ronnie Stanley, Mark Andrews, and Morgan Moses, the Ravens might take the better off their opponents this year.
Ravens’ current situation
The team is off to a decent start in the 2022 NFL season, winning two of their first three matches. They ended up being one of the teams who suffered the surprising 4th quarter comebacks in Week 2 as they were outplayed by the Miami Dolphins by 25 points in the last 15 minutes, thus losing the match 38-42.
Despite this negative outcome, the team from Baltimore pulled it through against the New England Patriots in the following week as they currently top the AFC North Division.
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