With the 106th pick of the 2009 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select center Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas. We at Cincy Jungle identified center as a "need", as early as the second round. It was someone surprising that the Bengals waited so long to address the position, making us think that there was a genuine belief that Cincinnati had confidence behind Kyle Cook and Dan Santucci.
6'4, 314 pounds | Arkansas | Center
Strengths: For such a large player, Luigs displays solid athleticism and agility. He has quick, active feet hat allow him to get to the second level with ease. Gets off the line with relative ease and attacks defenders. Intelligent lineman. Recognizes blitzes nicely and works well with guards to handle stunts. Has the smarts to adjust to blitzes during a play. Plays with some aggression and will seal off blocks driving defenders to the ground. Leader of Arkansas' offense as a senior.
Weaknesses: Luigs lacks great strength for an interior lineman and will need to get much stronger. Biggest problem is his knee bend. Luigs often bends at the hips and gets knocked around. He'll have to be coached on sinking his hips and bending his knees to hold up against powerful tackles. Doesn't appear to have great balance and a wider base might help. Has to rely on guards to help.
Final word: Luigs ranks higher than Eric Wood and Antoine Caldwell solely for his ability to play in either a zone or power scheme. He'll need to build some strength, though, so he may not be a starter his rookie year. As a junior, Luigs set the tone for Arkansas' high-powered run offense. He decided to return to school even after winning the 2007 Rimington Award and a coaching change. As a senior, he earned all-conference second team honors.
Analysis from NFL.com
Positives: Prototype size for the position. Rare athleticism. Good burst off the snap and can block on the move. Quickly moves his feet to get the appropriate angle on his man. Gets to the second level quickly as a run and pass blocker. Good initial quickness as a pass blocker. Settles well and plays with good balance. Equally effective snapping in the shotgun or traditional quarterback exchange. Cerebral player who makes the line calls and adjusts well to unexpected blitzes and defensive alignments.
Negatives: Relies on quickness and technique rather than pure strength to generate movement at the point of attack, and can be stalemated by bigger, stronger defenders. Can be tossed aside after initial hit. Struggles to remain engaged with defenders when blocking at the second level, and will miss targets altogether. Leans forward too far at times to reach his man, keeping Luigs off balance.
From Scouts Inc