NAME: Luke Goedeke
SCHOOL: Central Michigan
WEIGHT: 310 lbs
CLASS: Redshirt Junior
HOMETOWN: Whitelaw, Wisconsin
HIGH SCHOOL: Valders
It’s hard for prospects from small towns to get noticed already, but it was even harder for Goedeke, who missed nearly his entire senior season of high school due to a shoulder injury. With no scholarship offers to his name, the Wisconsin native headed to DIII Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he caught 12 passes for 132 yards as a tight end. With a healthy season under his belt, Goedeke again tried his hand at an FBS roster spot, eventually turning down a walk-on spot with his dream school Wisconsin for a scholarship at Central Michigan. Weighing in at 267 pounds when he stepped foot in Mount Pleasant, 2018 ended up a redshirt year so that Goedeke could add nearly 20 pounds. In 2019, he started all 14 games at RT before a knee injury ended his 2020 season before it began. In his comeback season this year, Goedeke has picked up where he left off, earning an invite to the Senior Bowl along with linemate Bernhard Raimann.
*: Goedeke played exclusively RT at Central Michigan, but his traits suggest he’s likely a better fit at guard long-term.
GAMES WATCHED: 2021 – Missouri, LSU, Miami (OH), Northern Illinois, Kent State
For an explanation of Alex’s grading scale, refer to this article.
Pass Protection – 50 (Average): One of the big reasons I’m not optimistic about Goedeke’s outlook as a tackle is that he pretty consistently lost to speed rushers. He’s a fine athlete for the outside, but he’s simply not very long. The combination of the two makes it too easy for twitchier defenders to turn the corner on him while he grasps at air. If he does get engaged, though, he has the functional power to stonewall guys.
Anchor – 60 (Above Average): I didn’t realize until researching his background that Goedeke, like his linemate Bernhard Raimann, started college at TE. The Chippewas’ RT made the transition to the line a couple years earlier, back in the spring of 2018, but it’s still remarkable what a solid anchor he sets for a relatively inexperienced player. Goedeke keeps his base wide and has the sufficient leg strength to avoid being pushed back.
Hand Placement – 45 (Fringe Average): I noticed a slight tendency to grab when he starts to get beat, which I worry will rack up holding calls in the NFL. Part of it is that some of his punches land a touch wide, but part of it is also his lack of length for the exterior. Replacement shows the same story: he’s able to do it when given the chance, but insufficient length often means a defender has outleveraged him by the time he would normally replace.
Balance – 50 (Average): When Goedeke is in his stance, it’s hard to knock him off-kilter. He looks and plays dense as hell, a big reason why pass rushers aren’t able to get past him if he gets a hold of them. What worries me a bit is the part before that: a lot of his punches come out over his feet, causing a lunging effect that leaves him compromised if he happens to miss.
Power – 55 (Above Average): Goedeke frequently tosses edge defenders in the run game, but I was most encouraged by his reps against interior defensive linemen. Since I’m projecting him on the inside, the fact that he held his own against bigger and stouter defenders is a good sign that he won’t lose the advantage his power brings him if he moves to guard.
Pulling Ability – 65 (Star): I don’t think that athleticism is the thing holding Goedeke back from sticking at tackle in the NFL. On the outside, he’s a fine athlete – on the inside, though, I think he’d be a well above average one. There are reps here and there where Goedeke shows some value in space as a lead blocker on screens, which I think would translate to quality skills as a pulling blocker in the run game.
Run Blocking – 55 (Above Average): The only reason I’m keeping this grade a little lower is because I don’t quite know how what Goedeke shows on tape as a run blocker will hold up at guard. What he does have on his resume is fantastic. He’s persistent, powerful, and has just enough nastiness to really control the point of attack against most defenders. The shrunken battlefield does wonders to hide his length issues and he has the chops to climb and seal second-level defenders.
Feet – 60 (Above Average): Goedeke matches Raimann here because the RT makes up for his lack of quickness with a much better foundation. Whereas Raimann tends to set narrowly, leaving room for defenders to bowl him over, Goedeke sets up wide and sturdy. The Wisconsin native is also an active mover, with some nice showings in small spaces to set and reset his lower half.
Versatility – 60 (Above Average): Here’s the big ticket for NFL teams, who I imagine will be split on Goedeke’s role. Some teams will like the tools he has at tackle, others will have a vision of a guard they can mold him into. Because he’s never played guard in a game, I think you could try him on either side, although in training with Paul Alexander, he’s been working a bit at left guard. And should disaster strike, you can still plug him in at RT as an injury replacement without catastrophic consequences.
Frame – 55 (Above Average): At 6’5″, Goedeke would be on the taller end of the guard spectrum, so teams with short kings at QB will probably want to keep him at tackle. That said, he’s built more like a guard from my perspective, and 310 lbs is right around average for guards. Length will be a question mark until Senior Bowl measurements come in, but I’m expecting it to be poor.
Red Flags – 10/10: While Goedeke missed the entire 2020 season with a knee injury, he seems to have fully healed and I have no long-term concerns about his health.
Final Grade (w/o RAS): 6.23
Round Grade: 5th
Summary: Goedeke was one of the first “who?” invites to the Senior Bowl this season after only playing two season’s worth of games as an offensive lineman. It’s important to keep that experience (or lack thereof) in mind when evaluating the Wisconsinite, because there’s plenty of room for improvement and a decent amount to work with. I think there’s merits to keeping him at tackle or moving him to guard, and I’d wager that the staff in Mobile will move him around to evaluate him at both spots. Personally, I see more upside on the interior, where it’s easier to mask his lack of length and highlight his power-based game. With no game experience at either guard spot, I could see teams with more developmentally minded OL coaches talk themselves into trying him on either side. Watch out for false positives during Senior Bowl week, though. If Goedeke is plugged in at left guard, a few reps may look better thanks to chemistry with his college left tackle.
6.23 is about as high as you can get while still being a 5th round grade, which I think reflects my certainty that Goedeke will be selected in the early hours of Day 3. His potential versatility as a three-position lineman will earn him points in NFL war rooms and keep him on rosters for a while as a sixth or seventh utility man. Measurement-wise, the height and weight are eerily similar to 2021 7th rounder Jack Anderson (6’4 5/8″, 314 lbs), who had 7th percentile arm length and no tackle flexibility. While I’m not expecting great arm length results from Goedeke, I think it’ll clear 7th percentile with relative ease. Long term, I think the ceiling is that sixth lineman role, with a possible season or two here and there of average starter play.
Follow Alex on Twitter @alexkatson.