The Wisconsin Badgers are known for sending several starting-caliber offensive linemen to the NFL over the past two decades. While Joe Tippmann is not a franchise left tackle that teams covet, his week at the NFL Combine proves his standing as the best interior lineman in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Tippmann is a former four-star recruit out of high school. He chose the Badgers over other Big Ten programs, electing to follow in the footsteps of NFL stars Kevin Zeitler and Ryan Ramczyk.
After redshirting in 2019, Tippmann played sparingly in two games during the 2020 season. However, he assumed the starting center role at the beginning of 2021 and never looked back.
Tippmann logged 1,445 snaps as the starting center for Wisconsin. He allowed only one sack the entire time and was charged with a measly four QB Hits in the same span. His six penalties were the only real red flag as Tippmann made his way to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.
Without a chance to put the penalty issue to bed, Tippmann made sure to leave zero doubt anywhere else on his resume. He put together an entertaining interview, showcasing his fun personality and hunger to improve.
My favorite quote came when Tippmann said, “I am a technician. I’m always working on my technique. My speed, my power, my strength is something I kinda hang my hat on.” He put those physical traits to use on a snap-by-snap basis at Wisconsin.
Due to a lingering health issue coming in, Tippmann did not take the field for workouts. However, after acing the measurements and interviews, the lack of action in drills did not dissuade others from vaulting Tippmann up their board.
His size will allow him the ability to play guard and center in the NFL. Backed by the athleticism on tape, Tippmann profiles as the best interior lineman in the 2023 NFL Draft. I currently have a fringe day-one grade on the Badger star, but there is a great chance he lands with a contender at the end of round one.
O’Cyrus Torrence and John Michael Schmitz get more of the shine, especially in mock drafts. But Joe Tippmann is the best of the bunch and will be an All-Pro center at some stage of his career. That is worth a top-25 pick every single time.