Can Pat Elflein resurrect his career with the Vikings in 2020?

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Pat Elflein
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Pat Elflein /
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(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Pat Elflein
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Pat Elflein /

Elflein’s career with the Vikings

Pat Elflein was taken in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Vikings. He spent the majority of his time at Ohio State at the center spot and he was tasked with filling the role for Minnesota during his rookie season.

This is something he did well on the whole. Elflein developed timing with the other offensive line members and he gave a good account of himself during his first year as a starter in the NFL.

He played 957 snaps and gave away four sacks, which was tied fourth in the NFL. These growing pains are normally associated with rookies and a big leap forward was expected in 2018.

This did not materialize from Elflein’s perspective. He failed to make improvements and he was found wanting both in run blocking and in pass protection. He gave up four more sacks during the 2018 season, which was tied second for players at the position.

The Vikings used their first-round selection to take center Garrett Bradbury in the 2019 NFL Draft. This put added pressure on Elflein. If Minnesota were hoping this might have been the catalyst for a turnaround in his fortunes, they were sadly mistaken.

Elflein was bullied often from the guard spot during the season, giving up six sacks in 2019. This was tied for sixth at his position and he was also flagged for eight penalties to further heighten his misery.

He was pushed off the block constantly and he became the weak link on a Vikings offensive line that showed some improvements, overall, last season.