Center is a position that as a whole is pretty weak for the Vikings. They do have the guy in place who can make it a strength this season, but he has to level out his play and become a more consistent blocker if that is going to happen.
Garrett Bradbury had an up and down rookie year in 2019. He was a pretty solid run blocker as he was able to get to the second level quickly and make blocks that helped spring runs for extra yards. His play was a big reason why Dalvin Cook had such a monster season.
But as good as his run blocking was, his pass blocking was on the other end of the spectrum. Bradbury struggled to anchor against big, physical nose tackles and he wasn’t strong enough to fend them off.
He was at fault for a number of Kirk Cousins’ sacks and pressures that came through the interior. If Bradbury has hit the weights this offseason and gotten himself stronger, that’ll go a long way in improving his pass protection. If he hasn’t, there’s no reason to believe he’ll be any better in year two.
In addition to likely being Minnesota’s starting left guard in 2020, Pat Elflein is also the team’s backup center. While Elflein was very good as a rookie, he wasn’t so much in his second season and his poor play was why the Vikings took Bradbury with the 18th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
It is nice to have an experienced backup, but if Elflein has to play center for an extended period of time, it could be very detrimental to the success of Minnesota’s offense.
Brett Jones and undrafted rookie Jake Lacina round out the depth chart in the middle of the Vikings offensive line. Jones is for some reason, still on the team despite never playing much and Lacina is a long shot to even make the practice squad.
The center position is a shaky one for Minnesota. If Bradbury takes the next step forward in his progression, this weakness will start to be perceived as a strength no matter who rounds out the depth chart behind him.