How the Vikings can fix their offensive line using the current roster

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Brian O'Neill
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) Brian O'Neill /
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(Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury
(Photo by Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury /

Improving at Center

The Vikings used their first-round pick a season ago to get an athletic center in Garrett Bradbury from North Carolina State. Bradbury came in and started all 18 games Minnesota played in this season.

He did very well opening up holes in the running game. Bradbury’s elite athleticism allowed him to get down the field quickly to make key blocks at the second level on runs and screens. He also handled playing in opposing stadiums well and the crowd noise never seemed to phase him, as he and Kirk Cousins rarely muffed an exchange.

Where Bradbury needs to improve is in his pass blocking. The Vikings don’t need to go out and find a replacement for him, they just need to mold Bradbury a bit. He has to get stronger and maybe a little bigger so he can better anchor and fend off opposing pass rushers.

Too many times last season, Bradbury was overpowered by the man lining up over him. It was very apparent in Minnesota’s first meeting against the Chicago Bears, their game with the Denver Broncos, their matchup at home against the Green Bay Packers, and the Divisional Round playoff loss the San Francisco 49ers.

Bradbury was manhandled in these games and pressure came right up the middle, all but shutting down the Vikings’ offensive attack. He must get stronger and add some more weight to his frame this offseason.

Minnesota has the right man in place to fix the middle of their offensive line. They just need to beef him up and get him on a strength program during the next few months.