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Commanders draft C Ricky Stromberg with No. 97 overall pick

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With the No. 97 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Washington Commanders have added reinforcement to their offensive line by taking Arkansas center Ricky Stromberg.

A four star recruit out of high school, Stromberg (6-foot-3, 306 pounds) did not have to wait long before experiencing his first real taste of SEC football. In the tail end of his freshman season at Arkansas, he started 11 games, twice at left guard and nine times at right guard. During his sophomore year, Stromberg moved to center, where he took on a starting role throughout the entirety of the season. After playing in 11 contests as a senior, Stromberg's career in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was capped off with a Jacobs Blocking Trophy, an award given to the conference's top offensive lineman.

"Center prospect with enough athleticism and strength to be considered scheme independent," wrote's Lance Zierlein. "He has an innate feel for angles and positioning that leads to some unexpected block wins. Stromberg has a chance to become a starting center with the flexibility to play guard if needed." Scouts and analysts have commended his great awareness, consistent timing, ability to switch up his feet on a dime and grittiness through contact.

If one mapped Stromberg's performances from end of high school to now, the results would look like the upward trend emoji in your phone. That is to say, he has performed better and better each year (PFF gave him an 82.4 overall grade following his senior season).

That will be music to the ears of Commanders coaching staff and fans because it's no secret that offensive line consistency has been an issue for the team recently. The center spot, in particular, was hard hit with injuries last season. The combination of Stromberg's talent, smarts and athleticism in tandem with Travelle Wharton's coaching will make the new Commanders center an important piece to righting the O-Line ship.

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