In I’ve done more to break down the play of Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury in terms of sourcing an article, watching film, etc. this off-season than I ever have for any article. That’s because there has seemingly been two schools of thought on the first-rounders career with the Minnesota Vikings thus far.
Both sides agree he’s been a liability, they just disagree whether he’s an out-and-out bust or someone that plays a position that takes 4-5 years to develop.
Well I’m here to say that it’s time that we consider the former the reality, which is something I take no pleasure in saying. I’ve spent time with current and former NFL offensive lineman breaking down tape on Bradbury, something I broke down in this article.
If you don’t want to click that, essentially the breakdown is as follows:
“I have no reason to think Bradbury will necessarily be a bust but he is playing very poorly right now. Bad footwork, no anchor in pass pro, off balance constantly. The most shocking thing is the lack of awareness. Looks lost on the field a lot. When I say bad footwork too I mean it’s loose. He can move his feet but he’s taking massive steps on reach blocks and play action sets and making it so he literally can’t take a second step. Showed up over and over again against Tampa.”
There’s a lot more to that, but considering the following quote from Pro Football Focus’ regrade of the Vikings’ pick (which they now rate as a ‘Poor’ pick)? I think we need to be realistic.
“Bradbury’s pass-protection has been a borderline liability for Minnesota over the last couple of years. Among 41 centers to play at least 500 snaps in pass-protection in their first two seasons in the NFL, Bradbury ranks dead last in pass-block grade by nearly six grading points (36.3). Since being drafted, he has allowed a league-worst 5.2% pressure rate. Considering the low success rate of interior offensive linemen in the first round, as well as the sample we have on Bradbury through the first two years, things aren’t looking great for this selection.”
He could turn this around, but it’s not great that Bradbury is the worst pass protecting center in the league considering where he was drafted and that the Vikings cut ties with Pat Elflein (who at least had an encouraging rookie year).
Based on the above and what I’ve heard from those that played in the NFL? Not only is Bradbury a bust but he also never stood a chance thanks to the Vikings’ laissez faire attitude at the position.
From the article linked above:
“The reason that I asked about the OL coach is because the whole OL plays like shit. They look completely unprepared to play to me. It’s bad right now dude. Really bad. I’m sure there’s plenty of talent but it’s not showing up.”
What is Laissez faire about that?
“Anyone that blames Kirk for what is going on is out of their mind. He had an exceptional OL when they were healthy in Washington, aside from Spencer Long, and the OL there was run by a technician in Bill Callahan. When you watched the OL there things were intentional, every single guy on the Vikings OL plays with different technique. Sometimes a certain guy will do a certain thing different to suit his abilities/skill set but here it looks like the Vikings OL doesn’t even have a coach. It looks like they get handed a piece of paper and someone says, go ahead and figure it out on your own.”
So, the Vikings now need a left guard and if they cut ties with Riley Reiff and end up moving Ezra Cleveland to left tackle? They’ll need all three of their interior offensive linemen. Considering how head coach and Mike Zimmer draft interior linemen? We’ll finAlly have replacements by this time 2045.
Told you that I took no pleasure in this. Then again, I am a Vikings fan, so I’m used to that.