5 Minnesota Vikings players with something to prove in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury /

Garrett Bradbury – C

The Vikings used the 18th overall pick on former North Carolina State center Garett Bradbury in the 2019 NFL Draft and they were rewarded with an up-and-down rookie season from the young offensive lineman.

Bradbury was a much better run blocker than a pass protector last year. He often was overpowered by big nose tackles and he had trouble anchoring against the interior pass rush of Minnesota’s opponents.

Bradbury appears to be well aware of his struggles and he has apparently hit the weight room hard to add strength to his frame this offseason. The Vikings will need his pass protection to improve, otherwise, their offensive line could be even worse than it was a year ago.

Pat Elflein looks locked into the starting left guard job for Minnesota and Dru Samia appears to be the current front runner to be the team’s starting right guard. Elflein was arguably worse than Bradbury in pass protection last season and Samia could potentially be a step down from Josh Kline at right guard since he’s unproven.

If Bradbury isn’t any better fending off those big, angry nose guards in 2020, the interior of the Vikings offensive line will completely crumble. Kirk Cousins will just be running for his life or throwing the ball away before any of his receivers can get open.

Bradbury is heading into a prove-it season for sure. He’s already committed himself to the weight room to get better and if it pays off, Minnesota’s offense, as a whole, will be vastly improved. If he struggles again this year, the word “bust” could start to get tossed around when discussions occur that involve the young Vikings center.