Seahawks mocks: Decorated OSU C/G Billy Price
Billy Price is a terrific offensive line prospect, and a shoe-in for day one of the 2018 NFL Draft. Does he make sense for Seattle in the first round?
This is part 3 in a series of articles we’ll post on noteworthy 2018 prospects mocked to Seattle. We’ll evaluate the promising players and look at their potential fit with the Seahawks in the draft. We’ve previously explored the prospects of Marcus Davenport and Derrius Guice:
Next up is Billy Price, a decorated Center/Guard from Ohio State. Last I checked, offensive line is still a critical need for the Seahawks. With that in mind, let’s go ahead and get right into it.
Billy Price, Center/Guard | 6’4, 310 lbs | Ohio State, rSR | 1st round talent
Price is yet another prospect who has been mocked to Seattle by multiple draft analysts. Most recently by Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell, and Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com. He would be a less flashy pick than Davenport or Guice, but there is so much to like about the Buckeye.
Price’s appeal starts with his extensive experience playing for a top tier college program. He red-shirted in 2013 after being recruited as a DT, then switched to the offensive side of the ball. Once there, he never looked back. Price finished his college career with an incredible 55 consecutive starts, or every game for the last four years.
What’s more, he offers plenty of experience at each interior offensive line position. He’s made double-digits starts at Center, Left Guard and Right Guard over the course of the last four seasons. That experience, durability and versatility are all huge notches in his draft stock.
Of course, Price’s effectiveness over all those snaps is what matters most. And it’s safe to say his performance was nothing short of dominant over the past two years. Price earned Associated Press 2nd team All-American honors as the Buckeyes’ Right Guard in 2016. He subsequently transitioned to Center this year, after OSU’s Pat Elflein moved on to the NFL.
(As an aside, Elflein is currently starting at Center in the playoffs as a Vikings rookie. How wild was that finish vs. New Orleans!?)
Back to the point: Price bolstered his impressive resume with a phenomenal Senior year at Center. He earned a 1st team All-American spot from AP for his efforts, and was awarded the 2017 Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best Center.
Here are my brief notes on Price compiled from tape-study for our initial 2018 Offensive Guard rankings last week:
Scouting Notes on Billy Price
- Equally effective in space or the phone booth – lightning-quick off the ball with fantastic foot-speed. Built like a brick house & strong as an ox.
- Reliable, if unspectacular in pass protection – agility & balance to instantly recover when beat. Improved moving to C from RG.
- AP 1st team All-American this year – his first at Center. Earned a 2nd team appearance at RG in 2016. Clear-cut 1st round prospect at either spot.
Price will rival the likes of Jason Kelce and Justin Britt for the title of most athletic NFL Center. His athletic profile is also special for a Guard, given his rare combination of power and mobility.
He’s bench pressed 225 lbs for 36 reps at OSU, which would have been tops at the Combine last year. Additionally, he posted an exceptional 40-time of 5.01 seconds at 300 lbs coming out of high school. Price is truly an elite athlete at the Center position. Not only does he have the quickness to make any type of block with ease, he also possesses the size, strength and leverage to handle massive DT’s in 1-on-1 situations.
By all accounts, Price has taken to the Center position like a fish to water. The video at the top of this post shows his confidence and football IQ as he breaks down film. He really checks every box you look for and offers enticing upside at any interior line position.
It’s not always easy to highlight an interior lineman’s performance, but Price produces so many awesome reps. This happens frequently during the course of a game:
Buckeye Block Of The Week: Billy Price single handedly clears out the middle for Mike Weber on the long TD run. pic.twitter.com/Sa7mecF2fA
— Kyle Morgan (@NoHuddleScouts) November 20, 2017
Once he gets that vice-grip on defenders, it’s over. He takes them for a ride and opens huge holes. Here he is at RG rapidly pulling in space, accurately targeting and cutting down the safety for an explosive gain:
Billy Price can move (also, that’s one hell of a play design) pic.twitter.com/Nf2cKfuGbK
— 〽 (@BlizzFootball) July 28, 2017
And here’s one more clip at Center to display his run-blocking prowess – a perfectly executed combo-block for yet another long run:
Not one, but two blocks by Ohio State center Billy Price to spring Mike Weber’s 47-yard touchdown run. One of the many reasons why he will most likely be an All-American this season. pic.twitter.com/gw5YcXoiCc
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) November 11, 2017
I could show many plays of Price completely stonewalling pass rushers, but this impromptu scramble drill stands out:
Billy Price cleaning up on the Wisconsin pass rushers in pursuit pic.twitter.com/VS5NZ2D5Cv
— Kyle Morgan (@NoHuddleScouts) December 4, 2017
You’ll notice him level two defenders with one shove after the QB reverses field. How valuable would that “clean-up ability” be in pass protection for someone like Russell Wilson?
Potential Seahawks interest in Billy Price & alternatives at Guard
The Seahawks have a gaping hole at their 5th starting OL spot heading into this offseason, likely at Guard. We identified OG as one of the Seattle’s priority needs as a result.
The cheapest and best way to upgrade the position is through the draft, and Price is an outstanding option. He’s a plug-and-play starter with All-Pro upside, and would add to the versatility on Seattle’s offensive line.
However, Price could easily be drafted before the Seahawks 18th pick. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com called him “one of the best center prospects (he’s) seen in the past decade.” Moreover, GM John Schneider could very well trade down once again to accumulate picks on Day 2. Doing so would likely take Seattle out of Price’s range on draft day.
As things stand now, Guard is a probable target with one of Seattle’s first picks in the draft. There are several alternatives if the price is too rich for Billy.
LT Connor Williams would make an excellent Guard if he fell to 18, and would be a long-term option at LT. The same goes for Tyrell Crosby, though likely after a trade down into the late 1st/2nd round range. The stock of Auburn RG Braden Smith is currently in that same area, yet he could easily rise in the first round. In fact, Smith would be my mock draft choice for the Seahawks if I did one today.
Will Hernandez, Wyatt Teller, Isaiah Wynn and Frank Ragnow are all great options in the 2nd or 3rd round. Teller especially could be a top target for Seattle after trading into that range, considering his athleticism.