The buzz all week had pointed to Michigan Wolverines starting center Cesar Ruiz entering the 2020 NFL Draft as a junior and he made it official on Friday afternoon, foregoing his final season of eligibility in Ann Arbor.
All Glory To The Most High LOVE pic.twitter.com/DG0S3bVI51— King Ruiz 〰️ (@_OverCees) January 3, 2020
Ruiz, a former four-star recruit and the class of 2017’s top-ranked center and No. 47 overall player per 247Sports, lived up to his billing and then some in his time at Michigan. Ruiz was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and was Pro Football Focus’ best pass blocking center in the country this season. He allowed only eight pressures this year on 447 passing situations and was stout in the run game, as well.
Maize n Brew spoke with an NFL front office employee this week who shared that they had a day two grade on him should he decide to declare. Another source shared that they expect him to rise up draft boards during the combine and testing process.
Ruiz declaring for the draft means that Michigan will replace four starters on the offensive line this year with only right tackle Jalen Mayfield set to return, but those in Schembechler Hall feel as good about their offensive line depth as they ever have under Jim Harbaugh. Stephen Spanellis, who announced his transfer this week, would have been in the mix to start at center in 2020, but the team now likely turns its attention to Zach Carpenter, who was a trending name during bowl practices in Orlando.
As far as the other spots go, Chuck Filiaga and Nolan Rumler figure to be in the mix for guard spots with Ryan Hayes presumably ready to slide into his role at left tackle. Andrew Steuber will also figure into the mix here coming off of a torn ACL.