With the 18th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury. Bradbury played college football at North Carolina State, where he did not allow a sack in 13 starts for the Wolfpack last season. He was the 2018 Rimington Trophy Award winner as the nation’s top center.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) April 26, 2019
Bradbury is the first interior offensive line prospect to be drafted by the Vikings in the first round since hall-of-fame guard Randall McDaniel in 1988. Considered the top interior offensive line prospect in the draft, Bradbury bolsters a position that has caused the Vikings issues the past few seasons.
“He’s a smart, passionate football player and a high character person,” said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. “Phenomenal athlete, fits into the scheme we’re going to run. I know going over the draft meetings over the last couple of weeks and listening to the coaches describe the traits our offensive line needs… he checked the boxes.”
It’s unclear if Bradbury will play center or guard. Adding him to the mix could force a shift to guard for current center Pat Elflein. Mike Zimmer said the coaches “will figure that out” through OTAs and training camp. Regardless, the Vikings are now looking at an improved offensive line personnel-wise. Here’s a look at the potential starting front five:
From Bradbury’s NFL.com draft profile:
“Bradbury’s body control, core strength, movement skills and intelligence check very important boxes for teams looking for immediate center help. His pass-pro tape against Clemson proves he can hold his own against a variety of pass-rush flavors while his strength and athleticism make him scheme flexible. He is a candidate to become an early and long-time starter in the league.”
Around the NFC North
- With the No. 8 pick the Detroit Lions selected Iowa tight end TJ Hockenson
- With the No. 12 pick the Green Bay Packers selected Michigan pass rusher Rashan Gary
- The Chicago Bears won’t pick until the third-round (#87). Only equipped with 5 picks this year, their remaining picks are in the fourth (#126), fifth (#162) and seventh (#222 & 238) rounds.