I put him at about # 10 Center in the league after his 2010 campaign.
There are a few specific analysts who are bearish on Jensen and it seems to be creating a bit of a fetishization of his play (I’ve seen this happen before and the public is particularly susceptible when its a “Jensen-type”). I’ve watched the tape of every_single_Jensen snap in the last 3 years. The idea that he is THE NUMBER ONE CENTER IN THE LEAGUE or even top 10 over the course of those 3 years is just not reality. Below is my +/- eval for him in 2020.
+ Jensen’s Run Blocking this year has been absolutely excellent.
+ His play in space on Screens and 2nd level climbs has been absolutely excellent.
+ Our entire OL and our iOL in particular is extremely good at handling Stunts/Loops. This is a credit to the Center.
* MIXED against the Blitz. He himself has been good against the blitz. But the entire OL/TE/RB group as a whole have had sufficient negative snaps (most of our Ints this year have come from blown protection against the blitz) that this could probably go -. Just like the above, the Center takes credit/blame here.
– But this is actually one of his worst years in Pass Protection that I can recall (after a huge bounce-back year last year) and it ironically coincides with snapping to one of the top OL Pass Pro friendly QBs in NFL history. Brady has covered up SO many bad Pass Pro reps by him this year. And despite covering up for many bad reps, he’s still had way too many bad Pass Pro snaps on tape despite having extremely good Guard play adjacent to him this year (which is a Center’s best friend). He’s given up the 8th most Pressures in the league. Only 5 other Centers in the entire NFL have given up more combined Sacks + Hits.
– Whether its him or Brady who is making the Inside Zone vs Duo blocking calls/Run Checks (could be both) vs Front isn’t clear to me, but we’ve had probably 10-12 occasions this year (just that I can recall) where that call vs Front has led to issues which directly led to assignment losses and play losses.
– He still has Snapping issues and has been rescued many times this year.
– 4 Penalties at the position isn’t bloody awful, but there are 19 Centers in this league who have 0-3 Penalties.
Sum told? Absolutely replaceable by a young, talented Center (we’ve had multiple come into the league the last several years…the NCAA cupboard isn’t bare when it comes to immediate impact Centers that can replace NFL counterparts). I don’t hate Jensen at all. I’ve grown to like him a fair bit. He’s a very solid football player. Those +es above? Those are a big deal. But again, he’s playing with one of the best Guards in the NFL and a very solid player in Cappa. That is a HUGE boon to a Center in the Run Game. The fact that his Pass Pro has been what its been is a huge let-down (particularly with Brady). I would order the best Centers in the league as the following (in order):
So about # 10 in the league (because Frederick had to leave the league and Pouncey, Paradis, Mack have fallen off in the least year…otherwise he’d be around 15ish). So if we need 10 million, my guess is that is where it comes from. If it comes down to keeping LVD, Godwin, and Barrett and working with a Rookie Center vs keeping Jensen? Well, that decision makes itself.
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