Rick Spielman’s long run of avoiding first round linemen is over. The Vikings have finally added to their offensive line room on draft day with the 18th pick, selecting center Garrett Bradbury from North Carolina State.
Bradbury established himself as arguably the most athletic offensive lineman in this year’s class with an outstanding combine performance. The 2018 Rimington Trophy winner as the top center in the nation, Bradbury’s athletic zone blocking earned him the selection over tackle prospects Andre Dillard, Cody Ford and Jawaan Taylor.
It was likely Bradbury’s athleticism and the zone scheme fit that made him the choice for Spielman and Company. Bradbury’s ability to reach block and move in space was unmatched among his peers. Most notable was North Carolina State’s propensity to have Bradbury jab one direction before lead blocking by himself the other way. You can see it in the video below.
Cool play design…
Starts as outside zone, then center peels out as a counter action! Sneaky!
Center is Garrett Bradbury… Nice finish!! pic.twitter.com/lPVm7jSk61
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 22, 2019
Bradbury’s selection likely has further implications for the Vikings’ line. Assuming he was selected to be an anchor at center, Pat Elflein, who played guard at Ohio State, will likely be moving over to guard.
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Above all, the Vikings did something they neglected to do the last few years when they had a talented, playoff-ready roster. They have addressed their greatest weakness with a player they can conceivably call the best player available, who also happens to fit their offensive gameplan to a T.
Read our full profile on Bradbury here.
–Sam Smith is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage Vikings and Deputy Editor for Full Press NFL. Like and Follow @samc_smith.
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