NFL News & Analysis

PFF Center Rankings: Top 32 ahead of the 2023 NFL season

2MCFNHE Kansas City Chiefs center Creed Humphrey (52) against the Denver Broncos during an NFL football game Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

  • Creed Humphrey leads the way: The Kansas City Chiefs center has been outstanding since he entered the league, which is why is shouldn't be a surprise to see him top these rankings.
  • Jason Kelce not far behind: Kelce's PFF run-blocking grade hasn’t dipped below 70.0 since his rookie season back in 2011 and hasn’t been below 79.0 since 2015.
  • Corey Linsley rounds out the top three: Linsley’s 64.9 PFF run blocking grade in 2022 was the second lowest of his career, but that was paired with a career-high 90.2 PFF pass blocking grade.
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

As we head toward the 2023 NFL season, our preseason rankings articles now spotlights the centers. Here we’ve taken the 29 current projected starters from Ourlads, who have NFL snaps to their name, with the rookies ranked in the final three spots because we haven’t seen them in the NFL yet.

Other positional rankings:

QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | OG | DI | CB | LB

1. Creed Humphrey, Kansas City Chiefs

Humphrey has been in the NFL for two seasons and has earned elite PFF run-blocking grades in both years. He just edged Jason Kelce in PFF grade last season (89.9 to 89.4) and when factoring in age heading into the season, it’s a fair projection to have him above the Eagles great.

2. Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles

Consistently one of the best centers in football for over a decade now, Kelce has dominated as a run blocker throughout his career. His PFF run-blocking grade hasn’t dipped below 70.0 since his rookie season back in 2011 and hasn’t been below 79.0 since 2015.

3. Corey Linsley, Los Angeles Chargers

Linsley’s 64.9 PFF run blocking grade in 2022 was the second lowest of his career, but that was paired with a career-high 90.2 PFF pass blocking grade. He’ll be 32 years old before the season begins, but we haven’t really seen any decline yet, so it feels pretty safe to project him in the top-five again in 2023.

4. Frank Ragnow, Detroit Lions

The 20th overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Ragnow has been one of the best run-blocking centers in the NFL since he arrived in Detroit. He has missed time due to injury throughout his career but has produced a 74.0-plus PFF grade in each of the past four seasons.

5. Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens

As a rookie, Linderbaum ranked fourth at the position with an 84.2 PFF run blocking grade, and Todd Monken’s arrival as offensive coordinator could lead to more zone runs, which fit his skill set. His 53.5 PFF pass-blocking grade was the sixth-worst at the position, but a lot of this came from rookie struggles against stunts, something that it would be fair to expect a significant improvement from in Year 2.

6. David Andrews, New England Patriots

An undrafted free agent back in 2015 out of Georgia, all Andrews has done since entering the league is play 700 or more snaps in seven of eight seasons and earn a PFF grade of 70.0 or better in all but two of those years.

7. Ethan Pocic, Cleveland Browns

Pocic was a Seattle Seahawks second-round pick back in 2017 but struggled as a guard in his first three seasons in the league. Since moving to center in 2020, his PFF grade has increased each season, including a career-high of 78.9 last season. Part of that improvement might have come from playing in the middle of two really good guards in Joel Bitonio and Wyatt Teller, but we did also see that improvement from 2020 to 2021 when he was still with Seattle.

8. Connor Williams, Miami Dolphins

This past season was Williams' first full season at center, and he certainly impressed with his career-high 78.5 PFF grade. It wouldn’t be fair to put that improvement exclusively down to the move to center though, as Williams improved throughout his career at guard with the Dallas Cowboys before that. At just 26 years old with five seasons under his belt, it wouldn’t be a shock to see his ranking jump a few spots next year.

9. Ted Karras, Cincinnati Bengals

Part of the ongoing rebuild of the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line, Karras made a big impact in his first season in the Queen City. Over the past four seasons, he has produced 65.0-plus PFF grades in every season, and his 76.1 PFF pass-blocking grade in 2022 was the fourth-best at the position.

10. Ryan Jensen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jensen played just one game in 2022, and it was pretty rough, but that was likely to be expected given that he had missed all of the regular season due to a serious knee injury. From 2019 to 2021, his 79.6 PFF run-blocking grade ranked fifth at the position, and even if his best days are behind him, his ability to set the tone in the run game still makes him a top-10 center as things stand. 

11. Cody Whitehair, Chicago Bears

Whitehair has had quite a strange career with the Bears, shuffling about the interior offensive line. After earning 71.0-plus PFF grades primarily as a center in his first three seasons in the league, he was kicked out to guard for the first half of the 2019 season before spending the second half of the year back at center. The second half of 2020 through the end of the 2022 season were spent at guard, so it’s been over two seasons since we’ve seen him as a starting center, where he performed better throughout his career.

12. Brian Allen, Los Angeles Rams

Allen’s career took a big step forward in 2021, his third season after entering the league as a fourth-round rookie out of Michigan State in 2018. He finished that season as the 10th highest-graded player at the position while his 79.7 PFF run blocking grade ranked eighth.

13. Drew Dalman, Atlanta Falcons

In only his second year in the league, Dalman ranked 11th among centers with a 69.5 PFF run-blocking grade. There’s room for improvement in pass protection, where his 27 total pressures allowed were the fifth most at the position, but if he can do that, then he is set for another impressive season.

14. Mitch Morse, Buffalo Bills

Morse isn’t great as a run blocker, as he hasn’t topped 60.0 in PFF run blocking grade since 2019, but he is a really reliable pass blocker. In his eight-year career, Morse has finished every season with a 70.0-plus PFF pass-blocking grade. At worst, he is a top-15 center entering 2023 on the back of his pass protection alone.

15. Erik McCoy, New Orleans Saints

McCoy’s career has been trending in the wrong direction since he posted a 78.0 PFF grade as a rookie, but he is still young enough that he can get things back on track, especially with his past two seasons disrupted by injury.

16. Ryan Kelly, Indianapolis Colts

It’s been three years since Kelly earned a PFF grade above 70.0, but he’s still good enough to rank among the top half of centers in the league. He ranked 16th at the position in PFF grade last season and was inside the top-21 in both pass and run blocking grades.

17. Bradley Bozeman, Carolina Panthers

Bozeman had a career year with the Ravens in 2021, earning a 73.6 PFF grade that saw him end the year as the 10th highest-graded player at the position. He didn’t reach those heights in 2022 with the Panthers, but he now has four consecutive seasons with a 63.0-plus PFF grade. He’s an average center in today’s NFL, and that’s quite OK.

18. Evan Brown, Seattle Seahawks

Brown started just one game at center in 2022, but it was impressive all the same, as the 2018 undrafted free agent earned a 68.4 PFF grade and finished the game with zero pressures allowed from 37 pass-blocking snaps. He was solid at center the year before, too, allowing just eight pressures from 455 pass-blocking snaps.

19. Josh Myers, Green Bay Packers

A second-round pick in 2021 out of Ohio State, Myers improved in his second season in the league, seeing his PFF grade increase from 54.9 on 349 snaps as a rookie to 60.4 on 1,091 snaps in Year 2. It’s fair to expect some improvement again this season, which could see him ranked much higher, but his floor is likely a top-20 starter at the position.

20. Garrett Bradbury, Minnesota Vikings

He hasn’t lived up to his billing as a first-round pick back in 2019, but Bradbury is coming off a career year that saw him earn a 67.5 PFF grade. His 63.8 PFF pass-blocking grade was the first season where it wasn’t lower than 45.0, improving by far the biggest flaw in his game.

21. Andre James, Las Vegas Raiders

An undrafted free agent back in 2019 out of UCLA, James is probably never going to be a top-10 center in the NFL, but he has at least posted average PFF grades in each of the past two seasons. A lack of consistency, with five games in 2022 where he posted a sub-60.0 PFF grade is what is currently stopping him from breaking into the top half of starters at the position.

22. Mason Cole, Pittsburgh Steelers

Cole struggled in Arizona in his first three seasons in the league but was pretty solid in his first season with the Steelers last year. His 67.1 PFF grade ranked 12th in the league among centers, though his 63.8 PFF pass-blocking grade was tied for 24th, so there is still a fair amount of improvement to be made.

23. Jake Brendel, San Francisco 49ers

Brendel entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of UCLA in 2016 and didn’t see more than 200 snaps until last year when he emerged as the starter in the middle of the 49ers offensive line. He was solid as a run blocker but stood out in pass protection, where his 71.8 PFF grade ranked seventh at the position.

24. Tyler Biadasz, Dallas Cowboys

Both Biadasz’s PFF pass- and run-blocking grades took a dip in 2022 after a pretty encouraging first year as a full-time starter in 2021. His 60.5 PFF grade in 2022 saw him end the season as the 24th highest-graded center in the league.

25. Luke Fortner, Jacksonville Jaguars

Fortner’s rookie season wasn’t great, as his 52.0 PFF grade ranked 32nd at the position, but the potential from his college career means we won’t give up hope on him working out in the NFL just yet. His final season with Kentucky in 2021 saw him earn PFF pass and run blocking grades above 80.0.

26. Lloyd Cushenberry III, Denver Broncos

Cushenberry really struggled as a rookie in 2020, earning a 40.5 PFF grade on 1,076 snaps and allowing 24 pressures from 655 pass-blocking snaps. He has still struggled as a run blocker over the past two seasons but looked solid as a pass blocker until injury derailed his 2022 season. His 68.8 PFF pass-blocking grade last year ranked 13th at the position.

27. Nick Gates, Washington Commanders

Gates started at center for the Giants back in 2020 and did pretty well for a player who was undrafted the year before, earning a 59.7 PFF grade. A horrible leg injury ended his 2021 season after just 74 snaps, but he was finally able to get back on the field in the second half of 2022. He earned a 69.0 PFF pass-blocking grade, seeing time at both center and guard, but struggled as a run blocker.

28. Aaron Brewer, Tennessee Titans

Brewer has just two starts at center to his name, both coming last year and both seeing him earn sub-52.0 PFF grades. He did flash potential as a guard at points in his three-year career so far though, so the Titans will be hoping he can put it together in the middle of the offensive line this year.

29. Hjalte Froholdt, Arizona Cardinals

Seeing starts at both guard and center in 2022 with the Browns, Froholdt didn’t do much to impress, posting sub-50.0 PFF pass-blocking grades in four of the five games where he spent the majority of his time at center.

30. John Michael Schmitz Jr., New York Giants

Schmitz was phenomenal in college, earning PFF pass and run blocking grades above 80.0 in each of his final two seasons at Minnesota. He was particularly dominant as a run blocker in 2022, earning a 92.4 PFF run-blocking grade.

31. Joe Tippmann, New York Jets

Tippmann earned 78.0-plus PFF grades in both of his final seasons in college before being drafted by the Jets with the 44th overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. He’s projected to slot in as a starter right away.

32. Juice Scruggs, Houston Texans

Scruggs earned 67.5 and 71.5 PFF grades in his final two seasons in college and impressed with a really strong week at the Shrine Bowl on his way to being a second-round pick by the Texans in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Safety worth way more than 2 points. Help protect your family with fast, free will.

NFL Featured Tools


Unlock the 2023 Fantasy Draft Kit, with League Sync, Live Draft Assistant, PFF Grades & Data Platform that powers all 32 Pro Teams

$31 Draft Kit Fee + $8.99/mo
$89.88/yr + FREE Draft Kit