Round 4, Pick 108 (2008 NFL Draft)
Weight: 298 lbs
Jay Gruden did a couple things as soon as he took over as Head Coach of the Redskins this year. First, he cut last season's starting Center Will Montgomery. Second, he shifted Kory Lichtensteiger over from Left Guard to Center. I think it's telling that these moves happened so quickly after Gruden took the reigns. Gruden and co. know they have to improve this offensive line from where it was at last year and they clearly thought an immediate change was needed at Center. It'll be interesting to see if Licht can have more success there than he has at LG over the past couple years. Thought Licht played both Center and Guard in college, by most accounts he was more successful as a Center. I'm choosing to be optimistic about him filling in that role.
It's no secret that Lichtensteiger is the team's lightest offensive lineman and has been for some time now. Recently, he's been listed as low as 284 lbs. No doubt that lack of weight concerns Gruden and the staff and Lichtensteiger has made it a personal goal to gain weight coming into this season. It's believed that he's around 298 lbs now, which will still make him the lightest lineman on the team, but still makes our offensive line as a whole larger and heavier than it was last year. If you were curious, TW is 337 lbs, Lauvao is 315, Chester is 309, Polumbus is 305, and Montgomery is 304. Lichtensteiger will be expected to contribute as a Center on the 2014 Redskins and if he can't a couple insurance policies have been arranged. The coaching staff brought in Mike McGlynn who is fully capable of playing Center, as well as having Adam Gettis practice a little bit at the position. I think most people would agree that the Center position currently has the least depth of all our offensive line positions. It would seem that Licht is slotted to be the starting Center on opening day, but he'll have to outplay McGlynn to ensure that.
I think Licht is in for a good season. A lot of fans are down on him after having a couple very lackluster years as an extremely undersized Guard. I think this transition (both positional and within the coaching staff) will be good for him. I've always thought Licht was more of a Center and now we'll get to find out. I believe he'll be the starter there and it's encouraging that the coaching staff like him enough there that they made that transition for him so quickly after taking over and seemingly did very little to add starting-caliber competition for him at the position. That's not to say McGlynn can't be a starting Center in the NFL, it's just to say that the Redskins didn't really bring someone in to be the undisputed starter and lock down the position for a few years. It seems like they want Licht to do that and are going to give him a shot, whether the fans like it or not.
Roster Prediction: Making Roster
I feel like Lichtensteiger is a natural Center. He was better there in college and hasn't lived up to his draft billing as a Guard in the pros. I think I'm a little bullish on the guy, but I believe he can be successful. He's been in the league for six years, not always playing his best position in my opinion, and has made not only Mike Shanahan and Chris Foerster believers, but Jay Gruden and Sean McVay now, too. Can they all be wrong about this guy? I suppose we'll find out.
Kory hails from Van Wert, Ohio. In high school, he played both basketball and football all four years. He's racked up quite an extensive list of football honors throughout his time in high school and college including: First Team All-Conference OL and DL in HS, Conference Lineman of the Year in HS, First-Team All-State his last two years of HS, Team Captain at Bowling Green, 2x Second-Team All-MAC, 2x First-Team All-MAC, Rimington Trophy Finalist, Freshman All-American, Co-MVP of Bowling Green, Draddy Trophy Semifinalist, and the Ed Block Courage Award two years ago with the Redskins. He was considered a top four or five Center in the '08 Draft. In 2011, Kory tore his ACL. He received the Ed Block award for his recovery from the ACL surgery. He's played 69 games in the NFL and started 51. And for whatever it's worth, Chris Cooley, a former Redskin teammate of Kory's, thinks Kory will thrive at the Center position. You can read more about what Cooley had to say in the Washington Post article here. He hosts a football camp for kids and there is a guy on the Mets that looks exactly like him. He has also restored at least one chair...
Big thanks to ALL the coaches, players and volunteers for making camp a huge success today. And to the kids who showed up hungry to learn!— Kory Lichtensteiger (@Steiger78) June 28, 2014
The chair whisperer pic.twitter.com/ZRg6Xi1RNj— Kory Lichtensteiger(@Steiger78) April 19, 2014
What is there to say about these two... pic.twitter.com/URKuxKOE0L— Kory Lichtensteiger(@Steiger78) April 4, 2014