Gophers center John Michael Schmitz drafted by New York Giants No. 57 overall

John Michael Schmitz was one of 10 Gophers to workout at the team's Pro Day on Wednesday at Athletes Village in front of NFL personnel from all 32 teams. (University of Minnesota Athletics)

Former University of Minnesota football standout John Michael Schmitz has a new home.

The Gophers center was selected by the New York Giants Friday night in the second round of the NFL Draft. Schmitz was taken with the No. 57 overall pick, the 26th pick int the second round, and is headed to the NFC East to play for Brian Daboll.

It marks two straight years with PJ Fleck having an offensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft. Last year, Daniel Faalele went in the fourth round at No. 110 overall to the Baltimore Ravens.

Schmitz was one of the top centers in college football last season, and one of the big reasons the Gophers had one of the top rushing attacks in the Big 10 in 2022. He started 35 career games, including 25 the last two seasons and led an offensive line in 2022 that helped the Minnesota rushing attack to nearly 2,700 yards and 33 touchdowns. 

Schmitz, an All-Big ten pick and All-American this season, can play center or guard in the NFL.

By going to the Giants, he’ll reunite with former Gophers’ linebacker Carter Coughlin. Schmitz spent six seasons at Minnesota and helped lead the program to at least nine wins in three of the past four seasons.

Other Gophers expecting to be drafted this weekend include Mo Ibrahim, Jordan Howden and Terell Smith.