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Buccaneers NFL Draft Target: Center Zach Frazier, West Virginia

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By: Mike Kiwak

Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Buccaneers need reinforcements on the interior line, which might come early.

The Buccaneers are completely set at offensive tackle, but their interior line is anything but solidified. Second-rounder Cody Mauch has the left guard spot locked down going into his sophomore season, but center and right guard seem totally up for grabs.

The Bucs have done well to bring in fresh faces as competition, like Sua Opeta and Ben Bredeson, but they’d do even better to get a higher-upside rookie into the fold as well. With some great talent likely to be available through the top 75-100 picks, might a name like West Virginia’s Zach Frazier appeal to GM Jason Licht and Co.? Let’s dive in.


A 3-star recruit coming out of high school, per 247Sports, Frazier was a dominant offensive lineman and wrestler. The wrestling background, which the Bucs have valued in the past, is impressive, as Frazier was a four-time state champion heavyweight.

A four-year starter for the Mountaineers, Frazier has plenty of experience at left guard (9 games) and center (37) in 46 career starts. In 2020, he was the first true freshman to start on West Virginia’s offensive line in 40 years, and he earned honorable mention for All-Big 12. He bumped up to second-team all-conference as a sophomore before nailing down first-team in his final two years.

His senior year saw him even achieve third-team AP All-American and finalist honors for the William V. Campbell Trophy – a.k.a. the Academic Heisman. On that note, he was Academic All-Big 12 first-team three years in a row.

He was invited to the Senior Bowl and accepted but could not participate in practices due to injury.


Frazier measured at 6-foot-3, 313 pounds with 32 ¼” arms. He participated only in the bench press and on-field drills at the Scouting NFL Combine as he continues rehab from a fractured fibula he suffered back in November. Frazier put up an impressive 30 reps, which backs up the impressive play strength he puts up on tape.

He plans to fully participate in other tests at the inaugural joint Big 12 Pro Day, which will take place March 27-31. Full numbers will be updated once reported.

Based on Next Gen Stats composite scores, Frazier ranked 3rd in production (73) for centers, 8th for athleticism (81), and 3rd overall (79). The overall ranking grades out as a “good” player, per NGS – for comparison, a 90 or above is “elite”.


If the Bucs are drafting Frazier, he is going to be their starting center in 2024. Unlike Robert Hainsey, who gradually made the transition to the keystone position, Frazier has a lengthy resume of high-level performance there.

His bulky, sawed-off frame generates fantastic amounts of power; he’s a certified people mover in the run game. He’s going to appeal to a Bucs team that has tremendously valued aggressive mentalities with pure finishing ability on the offensive line.

He’s shown good movement skills to get outside and get rolling downhill, which will be a bigger focus in new OC Liam Coen’s scheme. His hand power and technique allow him to control blocks and dictate the outcome, no doubt a result of his wrestling background (Tristan Wirfs was also a high-level wrestler).

Most importantly for a center, Frazier is very intelligent. He made calls pre-snap at the line, which isn’t always the case in college, and he’s shown the processing ability to pick up stunts and other post-snap movement and adapt effectively as the game goes on. He’ll be Baker Mayfield’s best friend.


There are no bones about it: Frazier is a good football player who is ready to contribute right away.

While the unspectacular athletic profile, suboptimal length, and technique inconsistencies may inhibit his ceiling, and perhaps his immediate effectiveness, Frazier’s got the pure ability to be a top-15 center in the league with time. If he can continue improving his technique in pass protection and maximize his athletic traits, it’s not unreasonable to expect him to push into top-10 territory with time. His margin of error will be smaller than other guys, but he’s shown the demeanor and willingness to put in the work.

As stated, Frazier’s pure power and intelligence will be huge for future success – those traits are good ones to bet on at the pro level for this position.


Currently, Frazier is widely regarded as a lock for Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 22 West Virginia at Virginia Tech
Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bleacher Report’s Brandon Thorn rates him as his IOL4 (putting Frazier at 27th overall on Bleacher Report’s big board) and compares him to former Cowboys and current Commanders center Tyler Biadasz, who has been a solid center in the league for several years now.

The Athletic’s Dane Brugler is similarly optimistic for Frazier, as he rated him as No. 36 overall on his top 100 big board (3rd overall center behind Jackson Powers-Johnson and Graham Barton). Brugler expressed confidence that Frazier’s broken leg wouldn’t be a problem for his draft status.’s Lance Zierlein is a little more tempered, as he rates Frazier as a “good backup with the potential to develop into a starter.” He’s Zierlein’s IOL11.

If he gets past the top 75 picks, that would be a shock at this point.


There it is, Bucs Nation. Would you like to see Frazier as Tampa Bay’s new center of the future? Vote in the poll and discuss in the comments below.

Originally posted on Bucs Nation – All Posts