[Si j’étais un espoir] John Michael Schmitz (OC): the keystone


While waiting for the post-season draft sheets, the editorial staff of TDActu offers you, every Tuesday, a spotlight on the future nuggets who will join the NFL in 2023.

John Michael Schmitz

Born March 19, 1999 in Flossmoor, Illinois
1m95 for 152 kilos
Center, Minnesota, senior RS

If it is not the sexiest, the central position is essential on an offensive line. Already, safely pass the leather to the quarterback. And right after, being able to open a gap for a runner or protect his thrower.

John Michael Schmitz is a complete and reliable player in all three areas.

If I were a quality: complete

For a player like John Michael Schmitz, the Americans talk about total package. He has the size to stand up to the real giant trolls that populate the defensive line midfielders in the NFL. And technically, he’s a competent player in protection as well as in the running game.

If it is not reduced to statistics, they are nevertheless considered in this sport. In 13 2021 games, JMS had conceded only 5 pressures and no sacks. In 2022, he only allowed 8 pressures and 2 sacks in 12 games. And as for the ground game, he is also very qualified: see at the end of the article.

If I were a stat: 11th ground attack in 2022

In 2021, while the best runner Mohamed Ibrahim was injured, and the offense had used no less than five runners, Minnesota still signed an average of 198 yards on the ground and obtained the 3rd possession time in FBS (1st NCAA level): 35 minutes and 25 seconds per game!

In 2022, with the return of the incumbent, the Minnesota Gophers rushing offense was the 11th most successful out of 131 universities! Mohamed Ibrahim averaged 145 yards per game and a total of 19 touchdowns on the ground in 11 games! His talent as a runner is undeniable but he also owes his performance to the offensive line of which John Michael Schmitz was the leader.

If I was a fault: age

At the time of the draft (April 27-29, 2023), John Michael Schmitz will already be 24 years old! Some would answer: so what? If the player is good, age is not a problem. And then is 24 years old? Let’s try to understand why this will still be noted in the defect column, on the NFL scout reports.

A technical defect is more easily tolerated in a 22-year-old player because the hope of correcting it with a good coaching is important. The same defect but in a player who is already 24 years old raises more doubts: the famous margin of progress! And inevitably, it is smaller at 24 than at 22.

Redshirt his 1st season on campus (present in school but not in matches), he then played very little the following two seasons. It was finally in 2020 that he won. No chance ! 2020 and this university season disrupted by the covid crisis: the teams only played 6 games instead of the 12 or 13 games in normal times.

John Michael Schmitz is good. But he took time to win in the NCAA: will he also need time in the NFL? And at already 24 years old, will we be able to correct faults that are a little more rooted than at 22 years old? These are two questions that will animate the debates in the War Room NFL franchises.

If I were a date: the Senior Bowl

The players present in Mobile, Alabama are divided into two teams and both units are coached by NFL staff. So the exercises as well as the proposed calls correspond to “pro” game books. This is perfect for projecting everyone’s potential because in the NCAA, the offensive systems do not always correspond to what is done in the NFL.

Of course, the decision-makers of the 30 other franchises are also on the edge of the field, scrutinizing the smallest detail: before going there, each GM has of course checked off the names of players to observe closely. While remaining attentive to other players performing well.

From February 04 to 09, 2023, John Michael Schmitz will compete against the best graduate players in the country. In the positions of IOL (interior offensive line), he will have to distinguish himself from Olesegun Oluwatimi (Michigan), O’Cyrus Torrence (Florida), Andrew Vorhees (USC), Jarrett Patterson (Notre Dame), Emil Ekiyor (Alabama) and Steve Avila (TCU).

If I was an NFL player: Travis Frederick (ex Cowboys)

Travis Frederick was drafted in the 1st round in 2013 (31st): 5 times elected to the Pro Bowl in 7 seasons with Dallas! Reliable player par excellence, he was the keystone that allows the whole to hold. An illness will have had the better of a longer career for him (Guillain-Barré syndrome).

If I were a draft pick: top 50

Although he has always played in the middle of the offensive line, John Michael Schmitz could also be an NCAA center becoming an NFL guard: like Landon Dickerson (Eagles) or the excellent and underrated James Daniels ( Steelers) in the NFL. He has the size and that adds to his rating for the 2023 draft.

When we talk about “top 50 players” it means that they are more likely to be chosen 45 than 15. End of 1st round or beginning of 2nd? John Michael Schmitz, by virtue of his position but also his background, currently has this type of grade among NFL evaluators.

If I were an NFL team: Houston Texans

Holder of the 1st choice of the second round in 2023, the Texans could use it to obtain an offensive lineman. Even more so if they take a quarterback with the #1! Holder Scott Quessenberry is playing in his last year of contract: a duty player far, far away, from the best in this position.

The reconstruction will necessarily go through the adaptation of the probable future new face of the franchise. And for that, the one who gives him the leather and then works in the trenches is an essential element.

Below, JMS in action: 1st drive of Minnesota’s offense against Purdue on October 1, 2022.

The number 60 shows his ability to push his opponent and flatten him to the ground, then on the next play, he leaves the line of engagement to hold a linebacker at bay. The next two calls, he is in protection of his quarterback looking for a solution to the pass. The fifth snap is again a demonstration of his power to win a first attempt on the ground.

Number 60 is reliable whatever the option: air or ground. He could be the keystone of an offensive line in the NFL. Texans runner Dameon Pierce votes for! (Bryce Young too).

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