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2014 NFL Draft Analysis: Packers Select Corey Linsley

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The Packers took Ohio State center Corey Linsley in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Here's some instant analysis.

Kirk Irwin

One of the staples of Ted Thompson's drafts is selecting left tackles and converting them into interior lineman. It's a philosophy the Packers' GM employed since his first draft in 2005, which is largely why he chose not to select a college center in his first nine drafts.

That changed with the selection of Ohio State's Corey Linsley.

At 6-3 and 296 lbs., Linsley plays with great leverage. As his tape demonstrates, he is a mauler in the run game. With Eddie Lacy and James Starks in the backfield, adding a powerful center that won't get pushed back at the point of attack is critical for Green Bay.

Linsley may have his work cut out for him, however. 2013 fourth-round pick J.C. Tretter possesses far better athleticism, something coaches Mike McCarthy and James Campen favor. Tretter will get the first shot at securing the starting center job.

Even so, Linsley provides assurance that the Packers won't have to press Don Barclay into center duty. Barclay practiced there in OTAs last offseason, often struggling with his snaps. He'll be allowed to focus on right tackle and right guard, positions which better suit his abilities.

Jason Hirschhorn covers the Green Bay Packers for Acme Packing Company. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Hook'em Headlines. His work has previously appeared on Beats Per Minute, Lombardi Ave, and College Hoops Net.