5 prospects the Vikings could miss out on without a 2023 second-round pick

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mazi Smith
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Mazi Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) John Michael Schmitz /

John Michael Schmitz – C (Minnesota)

The Vikings did resign Garrett Bradbury to a three-year deal in free agency. While, at first blush, that makes it appear he’s the Vikings’ immediate solution at the position, the contract itself provides a little wiggle room.

Bradbury is basically making $5 million a year. That is decent bank, but it doesn’t mean the team is tied to him permanently. If Bradbury reverts to his 2021, or even 2022 form, they can cut him and not be hit too hard down the road.

So they could look for insurance at some point in the draft, and if they still had a second-round choice, Minnesota’s own John Michael Schmitz could have been an option.

Michael Schmitz is about as well-rounded a center prospect as there is. He’s strong in the running game, showcasing the athletic ability to get outside and lead a play. He can also get to the second level making blocks down the field that spring long runs.

Bradbury often struggles to anchor in pass protection, but Michael Schmitz is very strong in that area, using his thick lower base and powerful core to hold strong and ward off the big, bulky nose tackles that line up across from him.

John Michael Schmitz was a standout last season at Minnesota, a standout at the Senior Bowl, and had a very good Combine. All arrows point to him being the first center off the board, which is likely to happen at some point in the second round, which means the Vikings won’t be the ones turning the card in.