Top 5 centers the Arizona Cardinals could consider in the 2023 NFL Draft

NFL Combine
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The Arizona Cardinals offensive line is looking better than we all thought, but they still need to pick up a center and possibly interior linemen.

The Arizona Cardinals offensive line looks solid, something I touched on after they signed Dennis Daley. While Daley struggled with the Tennessee Titans last season, he also joins a depth-rich group that includes D.J. Humphries, Josh Jones, Kelvin Beachum, Will Hernandez, Hjalte Frohodlt, Lecitus Smith, and Marquise Hayes. 

But you may have noticed that the Cards, at this point, don’t have a center, though Froholdt can theoretically slide into the position. That said, we’re going to do things a little differently this time around, and focus mainly on the best overall centers in the 2023 NFL Draft. 

5 potential centers the Arizona Cardinals should consider

1 - John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota

John Michael Schmitz could have turned pro following the 2021 season, but he insisted on staying in school to play out his senior year. Standing at 6’3 ½, Schmitz has good length, but he’s undersized at 301lb. 

And if the Cards want someone with experience, it’s John Michael Schmitz. He played 38 games at the collegiate level, starting 25 of them. This makes the experienced Schmitz arguably the most pro-ready prospect of the group.  

2 - Joe Tippmann, Wisconsin

If there is ever a good omen, it’s that offensive linemen from Wisconsin with the initials J.T. have been nothing short of ultra-elite in the NFL, like 2023 Hall of Famer Joe Thomas, who played in the NFL for 11 seasons. So maybe Joe Tippmann could emulate that success, only as a center instead of a tackle. 

Tippmann, however, is lanky for a center, standing at 6’6. But he is a two-year starter that the Arizona Cardinals can plug in immediately and play if they zero in on the position but are unable to snag Schmitz. 

3 - Alex Forsyth, Oregon

If Alex Forsyth played his entire collegiate career the way he did in 2022, he may have been number one on my rankings. In fact, he probably snuck his way to the top spot on a few rankings, but in my opinion, you need consistency if you want the top spot, or top two spots. 

Like Tippmann, Forsyth is also lanky. But he doesn’t need to play center right away, given his experience playing multiple positions on the line. 

Forsyth does come with a few downsides, one of which being his poor performance at the NFL Combine. He also didn’t break out until 2022, and most players generally don’t have five seasons to prove themselves in the NFL. Overall, Forsyth would be a Day 3 pick. 

4 - Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas

Ricky Stromberg is yet another player with sound experience at the collegiate level, having started 43 games. Like Forsyth, however, he could be better suited to play somewhere else on the line, most notably guard. That said, he could also be a Day 3 pick for the Arizona Cardinals if Big Red opts for either Schmitz or Tippmann. 

Despite the experience, it’s clear Stromberg is still unpolished. The only way I could logically see him going to the desert and starting from Day 1 is if the Cards take him and no one else to play center. 

5 - Olu Oluwatimi, Michigan

And finally, we got Olu Oluwatimi, who is more compact, giving him an ideal build at the center position. However, despite his more ideal build and the fact he won just about every award imaginable, Oluwatimi isn’t the most athletic player. 

Because of his lack of athleticism, don’t be surprised if he’s picked on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. And if he winds up in the desert, it’s highly likely the Arizona Cardinals will sign someone as a bridge player to man the position for a season or two. 

Overall, the Cards need to draft a center given how thin they are at the position. Although Hjalte Froholdt can theoretically play there, Arizona would be better off scanning both the draft class and the free agent pool to find either pure centers, or players listed in this draft who could eventually slide into the position.  

Ideally, they go with either John Michael Schmitz or Joe Tippmann. We will see what they decide to do come April 27th. 

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(All prospect information provided by draft profiles via Lance Zierlein of, with contributions from Chad Reuter)