Vikings not viewed as a best fit for top center prospect in 2022 draft

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) Tyler Linderbaum
(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) Tyler Linderbaum /

The Minnesota Vikings could be looking for a center in the 2022 NFL Draft but the top player at the position might not be a great fit.

Center has been a tricky spot for the Minnesota Vikings over the past few years. Current starter Garrett Bradbury has underperformed since being a first-round draft pick in 2019. Even before he arrived, Pat Elflein couldn’t live up to his expectations as a third-round pick in 2017.

Despite those issues, there still has to be some temptation to use an early draft pick on the middle of the offensive line. The number one center prospect on most people’s bards is Tyler Linderbaum of Iowa. However, he might not be a great pick for the purple and gold in the first round.

According to an article by Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network, the Minnesota Vikings aren’t one of the best fits for the lineman.

Why aren’t the Minnesota Vikings a good fit for Tyler Linderbaum?

Picking at No. 12 overall is a tough place to choose a center. A team would either have to truly believe they are an elite talent or a good fit for the team to select one in that spot. Another option would be trading down to a spot where choosing a center has more value.

Fowler picks the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, and Pittsburgh Steelers as great fits for the Iowa lineman, adding that he is a “smooth mover with the nastiness to finish and displace defenders in the run, only to anchor and drive pass rushers to the dirt in his pass sets.”

On paper, Linderbaum looks as though he could be a clone of Bradbury. Both stand 6’3 but the young man from Iowa weighs in nine pounds lighter than the current Vikings starter, who was pushed around at times against large defensive linemen.

That’s not to say Linderbuam couldn’t be successful at the NFL level. With a good scheme and a strong supporting cast, the draft prospect could have a fantastic rookie year. But there is also the chance that a scheme change along with new coaches could do wonders for Bradbury in Minnesota.

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Someone will walk away from the 2022 NFL Draft with an excellent center prospect when they select Tyler Linderbaum, but if he’s not one of the best fits and the Minnesota Vikings want to see what they have in Bradbury under the new staff, it seems unlikely the Iowa blocker will have his name called when the purple and gold are on the clock.