2023 NFL Draft

2023 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Penn State C Juice Scruggs

From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Penn State C Juice Scruggs.

#70 Juice Scruggs/C Penn State – 6032, 301 lbs.

Shrine Bowl/Combine


Player Ht/Wt Hand Size Arm Length Wingspan
Juice Scruggs 6032, 301 10 1/4 33 1/4 N/A
40-Yard Dash 10-Yard Dash Short Shuttle 3-Cone
5.22 1.79 4.82 7.72
Broad Jump Vertical Bench Press
8’6″ 32 29


— Good size and bulk with excellent length for his frame and the position
— Beats defenders up in the run game, plays with leverage and has strong upper body to win point of attack and create movement
— Runs his feet and able to uncoil his hips on contact, shows nasty streak and ability/desire to finish
— Extremely strong anchor in pass protection, hard to run through and routinely stalls out bull rushes
— Creates first contact in pass pro
— Uses length well and controls blocks, latches on and doesn’t let go, sticks to his blocks
— Displays solid football IQ, able to identify, scan, and pickup blitzes and stunts
— Able to climb to second level and stick to linebackers
— Plays with proper base and leverage
— Team captain and leader
— Guard/center experience

The Bad

— Can get overaggressive in pass sets, won’t stay square and give up lane, needs to better understand
— Most vulnerable to finesse and quick pass rushers who use swipes to beat him half-man instead of down the middle
— Occasionally loses balance and ends up on the ground in run and pass game
— Poor agility scores and doesn’t have great foot speed in open field on screen passes
— Doesn’t have outstanding starting experience
— Some medical concerns from old back injury


— Two-year starter for Nittany Lions, 25 total starts
— Started at center in 2022 but played guard throughout 2020 and 2021 seasons
— Named 2022 team captain
— Broke L3 vertebra in single-car accident in March of 2019, spent year in back brace and riding on a scooter, missed entire season and had back spasms in late 2019 but got healthy for 2020
— Four-star recruit from Erie, PA, chose Penn State over LSU, Michigan, Pitt, and many other schools (chose Penn State over Ohio State)
— Played at HS powerhouse Cathedral Prep, team went 49-3 over his career and didn’t lose a game his junior or senior seasons, going 14-0 in consecutive years
— Played OL and DL in HS, had 11 TFL and four sacks senior year
— First name is Frederick

Tape Breakdown

Juice Scruggs’ tape really impressed me, especially the more I watched him. With great size, a tremendous run blocker, and stoutness in the pass game, he brings plenty to the table. As a run blocker, he uses his size and length well with tremendous lower body strength. He’s able to consistently hold the point of attack, create movement, and overall control blocks. Some examples. Scruggs is #70, the center in all these clips.

I was just as excited to see him in pass protection. He handled Michigan NT Mazi Smith as well as probably anybody and has the ability to sit, anchor, and stall out bull rushes as well as you are going to say. Teach-tape stuff.

He played guard two years ago before being a full-time center in 2022. A team captain, he checks a lot of boxes for a locker room. On tape, he’s not an A+ athlete and I noticed him getting overaggressive in pass protection, not playing within his help and leverage and getting beat. He’s also most vulnerable to speed/finesse rushers who attack half-a-man instead of right down the middle like they do on a bull rush. See him too aggressive and not square here.

Here’s two more examples. In the latter against Auburn, you see him overset and give up the inside when he has guard help. Just too aggressive.

While the injury was four years ago, Scruggs’ broken back in 2019 was a serious injury that caused him to miss an entire season. For an offensive lineman with back history, there could be concern about his longevity in the league. Something to consider.


Still, Scruggs’ tape is really good. This center class is pretty solid and I suppose it’s why he isn’t getting talked about enough but he certainly should get more love. He can be a starter in this league so long as his back injury doesn’t flare-up again. Right now, he’s excellent value in the draft and could wind up being one of the classes top names in the middle.

My NFL comp for him is Jets’ center Connor McGovern.

Projection: Early-Mid Day Three

Depot Draft Grade: 8.1MED – Future Quality Starter (2nd Round)

Games Watched: at Michigan (2022), at Auburn (2022), vs Ohio State (2022)

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