2018 Vikings Draft Profile
Name: Billy Price
Position: Offensive Linemen (Center/Guard)
School: Ohio State
Price anchored the Buckeyes offensive line on an offense that ranked sixth in the nation in total yards per game (523.6) and eighth in rushing yards per attempt (5.9). He is the winner of the 2017 Rimington Trophy, awarded to the best offensive linemen in college football.
Price did a tremendous job in pass protection for the Buckeyes. Often used in double team blocking a defensive linemen, Price is quick to attach hip-to-hip with the defender. Once Price is able to latch onto the defensive linemen, he wins with his strength. Whether it is a defensive linemen or a linebacker coming Price’s way, he is able to use his hands to clear out any potential rush.
Price has very quick feet which helps him stay with linebackers and quick linemen. He is able to keep a low pad level which helps his feet stay quick and low to the ground. This low pad level creates an advantage for Price and does not allow linemen or speed rushers to fly past him and attack the quarterback. Standing at 6-foot-4, Price is not the tallest offensive linemen out there, so creating a low pad level is essential for him to not lose leverage when defenders are coming.
Price has shown to be exceptional in the run blocking department, creating tons of open lanes for J.T. Barrett and J.K. Dobbins to attack and run through. As with pass blocking, Price also excels in double team blocking. A great example of this is during his game this past season against Michigan, where he blocked two defenders on the same play and open a gaping hole for Dobbins to run through.
Price has what you call “grown man strength.” He has constantly been one of the strongest defenders on the Buckeyes team since he got to Columbus. He takes his workouts seriously and has actually been kicked out of the gym before by the coaches who told him to get some rest. Perfecting his craft in the weight room has been an area that has really developed some serious strength for Price.
Urban Meyer likes a power running scheme at Ohio State. This scheme involved a lot of carries for the running backs and the quarterback, which offers a ton of great film on Price. During his time as a Buckeye, Price played guard before moving to center his senior season to replace former Buckeye and current Viking, Pat Elflein.
With the 30th pick upcoming in the draft, the Vikings are in a position where they have a few needs, but can also take the best player available. If somebody mocked in the top 15 were to fall, the Vikings could take advantage of that. However, the need of offensive linemen, especially guard, is essential for the Vikings to improve this offseason. The Vikings seemingly found their center of the future last season with Elflein, and now they need to upgrade at guard. With Nick Easton coming off surgery and rumors that Joe Berger may retire, the need for a young guard only increases.
If Price is still on the board come pick 30, the Vikings will be running to get this pick in and select him. Price offers a ton of versatility in that he can play both guard and center. That makes him very attractive to the Vikings because he is an exceptionally smart player that already knows how to play multiple offensive line positions. Reuniting Price with Elflein will give the Vikings line chemistry, something that is so important to the success of offensive lines in the NFL.