Dec 28, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers center John Michael Schmitz (60) against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a while, but the Minnesota Gophers had an offensive lineman selected on Day 2 of the NFL draft.

Center John Michael Schmitz was taken 57th overall by the New York Giants in the second round of the NFL draft Friday.

Schmitz is the highest-drafted Gophers offensive lineman since center Brian Williams went in the first round in 1989. The last time a Minnesota O-lineman was selected in the first five rounds was 2001 (center Ben Hamilton, Round 4).

Schmitz returned to Minnesota for a sixth season in 2022 and was named first-team Associated Press All-American, consensus first-team All-Big Ten and second-team Walter Camp All-American.

Opting out of Minnesota’s bowl game for the draft, Schmitz had the top production score among centers at the NFL combine.

Now he heads to a team that's looking to replace its starting center from last year, Jon Feliciano, who signed with San Francisco this offseason. Schmitz likely will compete with Giants lineman Ben Bredeson for the starting center spot.

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