The Green Bay Packers’ center in 2021 just might be from Ohio State after all.
The Packers lost veteran Corey Linsley — a proud Ohio State alum — in free agency last month.
During the second round of the NFL Draft Friday, Green Bay selected center Josh Myers of Ohio State. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Myers will be given every chance to start at center on Green Bay’s unsettled offensive line.
“He’ll have to earn it like everybody else,” Packers director of college scouting Matt Malaspina said. “Nothing’s given in this league. But things are stacked in his favor that he’s the right kind of guy you want to go out there with and I have full confidence that he’ll give his best effort and we’ll see what happens after that. But we anticipate good things.”
Myers was the No. 1 recruit in the state of Ohio in the class of 2017. Although his father, Brad, and brother, Zach, played on the offensive line at Kentucky, Josh stayed home and committed to the Buckeyes as a sophomore in high school.
Myers was a two-year starter at OSU, and earned first-team all-Big Ten honors by the coaches and second-team honors by the media in 2020.
Myers is a big-bodied center with an impressive level of lateral mobility. His size works to his advantage against power players, but he can struggle against edge attacks.
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He’s not a natural bender, but is extremely bright, makes all the calls up front and was a captain at OSU.
Myers played primarily guard until 2018, when the Buckeyes had a hole at center and he made the switch.
“My coaches asked me to move to center after my redshirt year (2017) at Ohio State and really they needed me to do it, so I did what was best for the team in that situation and ended up falling in love with the position, everything about it,” Myers said. “I love the physicality. I love the fact you kind of have to be a leader. You have to make calls. Just all the things that come with it, I just fell in love with.”
Myers suffered a turf-toe injury in the 2020 Big Ten Championship game. He chose to keep playing, though, and started against Clemson and Alabama in the College Football Playoff.
After the season ended, an MRI and X-ray showed Myers had broke a bone underneath his foot and had an avulsion of the tendon on another bone. Therefore, he only participated in the bench press at Ohio State’s Pro Day.
Still, that level of toughness impressed the Packers’ brass.
“That’s him. That’s most of the kids at Ohio State. That’s how they are,” Malaspina said of Myers. “He’s extremely tough. It’s important for him to be a great player.”
The Packers desperately need reinforcements up front.
Linsley, the best center in football in 2020, went to the Los Angeles Chargers in free agency. Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who tore his ACL before Week 17 last year, might miss the start of the 2021 campaign.
Top reserves Ricky Wagner and Lane Taylor have also moved on.
So Myers will be given every chance to be in the lineup in Week 1. And replace the enormous shoes Linsley has left behind.
“I’ve watched (Linsley) playing over the years on film,” Myers said. “I’ve seen him in passing several times at Ohio State and have talked to him on several different occasions. I do know Corey and about his career in Green Bay, as well.
“Yeah, it would mean everything to me, to come in and be able to do that. You know, he’s such a great player and to follow him up is a big task that I’m excited to get a shot at.”