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Jimmy Morrissey declares for 2021 NFL draft

North Carolina v Pittsburgh Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Pitt center Jimmy Morrissey declared for the 2021 NFL draft on Sunday night. He did not have a long statement on his decision, just a photo of himself and his teammates and a thank you to the Pitt community.

The news brings an end to a Pitt career that began with Morrissey joining the team as a walk-on in 2016. Since then, he carved out a role for himself on the offensive line and became one of the best centers in the nation. As a result, he earned All-ACC honors in 2018 and 2019 and will likely repeat the feat when the 2020 All-ACC team is unveiled.

The 6’3”, 305-pound center has been just about immovable in front of Pitt signal-caller Kenny Pickett over the past couple of seasons. In 2019, Morrissey did not allow a sack all year, and he was graded as the team’s top run-blocker by Pro Football Focus as well. That was an especially good year for Pitt’s interior linemen, as Pitt guard Bryce Hargrove allowed just one sack during that season.

The two put on a similar performance in 2020, as the pressure Pickett encountered almost always came from the outer edges of the line, with little to none slipping through the cracks in front of him. And now, Morrissey will follow Hargrove into the draft, as the guard threw his hat into the ring on Saturday, and both linemen have reason to believe they will fare well.

While Hargrove has been unheralded by draft analysts, that may be a byproduct of his surprising decision to forgo a year of eligibility and enter the draft a year early. However, generating buzz has not been a problem for Morrissey, as ESPN ranks him as the No. 165 prospect in the draft and the No. 5 center.