NFL Draft 2017

Grade the Pick: Vikings Select C Pat Elflein at No. 70

The Minnesota Vikings executed yet another trade, this time moving up in the third round (70) to select Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein.

Elflein played guard and center for the Buckeyes, making the full-time switch to the latter position in 2016. It was there he won the Rimington Award, which is awarded to the country’s best center.

In 2014, Elflein started three games at left guard and 12 on the right, where he earned All-Big 10 honors. The following season, he earned second-team All-American honors while starting every game at right guard. Elflein’s versatility is likely a factor in Minnesota’s aggressive trade to make the selection.

Dane Brugler of CBS Sports compared Elflein to Nick Mangold, a player the Vikings previously targeted in free agency. Brugler called Elflein “quick, powerful, and tough,” labeling him as a top-50 pick with the potential to become a long-time starter in the NFL.

Lance Zierlein made an even better comparison, holding Elflein in the same regard as Cowboys center Travis Frederick. He called Elflein a “smart, tireless worker” and noted his wrestling background would be appealing to certain franchises; including the Vikings.

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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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