C Austin Schlottman
When the Minnesota Vikings signed Austin Schlottman in mid-March it was met with little fanfare. He was a backup in Denver who had a PFF ranking that made Garrett Bradbury look like a pro bowler. It was assumed he’d battle for a backup job but was most likely going to be cut at some point in the summer.
Schlottman has played very well and his stock has risen to the point where he is viewed by most as a lock to make the final roster. Schlottman’s rise had a lot to do with making the most of an opportunity given to him. The Vikings were toying with the idea of moving Chris Reed to center and he was working with the second team early in camp. Reed then went down with an injury, and Schlottman began taking all the second-team reps and has really taken off from there.
He caught the eye of many Vikings fans and observers with his solid play against the San Francisco 49ers where he was physical, quick, and relentless in his blocking. He graded out in the 90s and that is something that Vikings interior linemen of recent years don’t ever do.
With Bradbury on thin ice with the coaching staff, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Schlottman start for this team sometime before Halloween. That would’ve been a crazy thing to say five months ago, but Schlottman has earned his shot.