2020 NFL Draft Profile: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

Cesar Ruiz

Center, Michigan Wolverines
6-3, 307

40 time: 5.08

OVERVIEW

Cesar Ruiz
Feb 26, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Michigan offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz (OL40) speaks to the media during the 2020 NFL Combine in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

A three-year starter who rarely allowed pressure in pass protection, Ruiz has varied background with 31 starts: 26 at center and five at right guard. He was named second-team All-Big Ten as a junior in 2019.

Ruiz had an excellent all-around NFL Scouting Combine, finishing in the top 10 among offensive linemen in the 40-yard dash (5.08, T-10th), vertical jump (33 inches, T-5th), bench press (28 reps, T-6th) and short shuttle (4.64, fourth).



ANALYSIS

Ruiz has a square frame, with long arms and hips nearly as wide as his broad shoulders. Tree trunks for thighs and boasts the leg drive to move the pile. Can catch looping defenders because of his length and is better suited than most centers to anchoring against bull rushers, due to his naturally low center of gravity and knee bend. Good snap-to-step quickness despite his stubby build, showing active, accurate hands to latch and control opponents and flashing impressive agility to mirror in pass protection. Mobile mover who reaches second level easily when uncovered.

Ruiz is still ironing wrinkles in his game, with inconsistent footwork, hand placement and pad level all plaguing him at times. Can be lazy with his feet, stamping them into the ground and leaning into opponents rather than sliding laterally. Can slip downfield in the running game but is inconsistent anticipating where defenders are headed, stopping his feet once he reaches them and too often getting left behind. Allows his pads to get too high, negating his own strength and getting pushed deep into the pocket.

PRO COMPARISON

Bradley Bozeman, Baltimore Ravens — Ruiz possesses rare size for center, as well as an intriguing blend of quickness and power. He is not as polished as his three years as a starter in Michigan’s pro-style offense might suggest, but he offers positional flexibility and upside, projecting best in a drive-blocking, power scheme.



Projection: Third Round

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