Ted Larson out of NC State was rated the 4th best center in the draft then they selected Thomas Welch an OT from Vandy. Welch was a former TE who is athletic for an OT. They must have seen something in Welch that they liked because they traded up for him
Scouting Report from CBS Sports: Ted Larson
Larsen attempted to crack the starting lineup at defensive tackle for three seasons before seemingly finding a home on the other side of the ball. Drawing on his experience from the defensive line to the opposite side, Larsen grew into one of the elite -- and certainly one of the most physical -- centers in the collegiate ranks.
Thrust into the starting lineup at a position he had never played, Larsen had to rely heavily on his power and instincts during his junior season. Even though he allowed four quarterback sacks that campaign he took his "baptism under fire" as a learning experience. By the end of the year, he was the recipient of the team's Jim Ritcher Award, given annually to State's Outstanding Offensive Lineman.
At University High School, Larsen was a standout defensive lineman. The Florida Athletic Coaches Association named him the District Player of the Year following his senior season. He was also chosen All-Pinellas County first-team and All-Sun Coast Florida second-team, as he recorded 65 tackles, including eight sacks while also blocking a kick.
As a junior, Larsen was credited with 85 tackles and ranked among the state's leaders with 15 quarterback sacks. That performance earned him All-County second-team honors. In addition to his exploits on the gridiron, he lettered in track, competing in the shot put and the discus.
Looking to emulate his father, Robert, a defensive end during his playing days at Wichita State (1972-1976), Larsen enrolled at North Carolina State in 2005. He spent the year playing on the defensive line for the scout team, eventually starting three times at tackle the following campaign while appearing in 11 contests in 2006. He recorded a nine tackles (6 solos) with two sacks and three stops for loss.
As a sophomore, Larsen earned two more starts while appearing in 12 games at defensive tackle. He appeared in 315 snaps, as he collected a dozen tackles (5 solos) that included 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including a pair of sacks.
Even though he never played a snap at center, Larsen immediately won a starting job and was on the field for 730 snaps. The Ritcher Award winner struggled with pass protection technique early in the year, but produced three 90-percent blocking consistency performances during the second half of the schedule.
Larsen graduated in May 2009 with a degree in History. The All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team selection added two more 90 percent grades during the 2009 campaign. Twice he recorded multiple touchdown-resulting performances for the Wolfpack as a senior. He led the squad with 89 knockdowns and recorded ten touchdown-resulting blocks. He also made a pair of solo tackles.
Pass blocking: Capable shotgun and typical snapper. Struggled some with high snaps early in the season, but developed more consistency as he gained experience. Quick set up and balance. Bends at the knees and plays on the balls of his feet. Good lateral movement to mirror the defensive tackle. Knows what the defender is attempting to do due to his experience at the position. Good strength and balance to anchor against the bull rush. Improving recognition. Struggles at times to adjust to stunts and blitzes. Helps out the guard, but doesn't release soon enough to react to the blitz or loop.
Run blocking: Good initial quickness and upper-body strength to knock the defender off the ball. Good explosive initial pop, but must do a better job of sustaining. Allows his hands to slip down the jersey and subsequently get ripped through by the defender. Improving with his hand placement and is generally able to knock his opponent out of the lane, as he keeps his legs chugging with quick power steps. Flashes some nastiness as a run blocker. Looks to knock the defender to the ground with an intimidating pancake when he senses the advantage. Good quickness to get out to the second level and has the body control to adjust and hit the moving target.
Pulling/trapping: Not asked to pull from his center position much in this offense, but has experience at guard and has the short-area quickness and agility to do so. Developing as a trap blocker. Good lateral quickness for the down block. Good burst and body control for the cut block, but doesn't utilize this technique often.
Initial Quickness: Quick first step in reverse in pass protection to catch the defensive tackle. Explosive burst and initial pop in the running game are among his most impressive skills. Can knock the defender out of the hole to create running lanes.
Downfield: Surprisingly efficient footwork in getting to the second level. Takes good angles to meet the linebacker in space. Good body control to adjust to the moving target.
Intangibles: Former defensive tackle who made the switch to center at his coaches' request. Earned degree in History in May of 2009. Recipient of the team's Jim Ritcher Award as the Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman after his first season after the conversion from defensive tackle. Gives good effort on every snap. High intensity player