Much like we did earlier for the selection of Dalvin Cook, we’ll take a quick spin around the internet to get the initial HAWT TAEKS on the Minnesota Vikings selecting Ohio State University center Pat Elflein.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - B+ grade
He can play guard or center for a team that needs line help. I like it.
Walter Cherepinksy, Walter Football - C grade
I loved Minnesota's first pick. This one? Not so much. The Vikings moved up in the third round to select a fourth-round prospect, so I don't really like this move. I don't hate it though, as there aren't very many good offensive linemen, and Minnesota is desperate. Pat Elflein can start at guard right away and eventually move to center in a couple of years.
Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated - A grade
A doozy of a find in Round 3, and well worth trading up from No. 79 to get him. Elflein was the best center in this draft—he can be Minnesota’s man in the middle for years to come, assuming he wins that job out of camp. If he doesn’t, he can start at guard.
Scouting report: Elflein toyed with leaving for the NFL after the 2015 season but instead returned to Columbus, moved from guard to center, and earned the Rimington Trophy given to the nation's top center in the fall. At 6’ 2” and 305 pounds, his awareness and rush blocking on the second (and even third) level stick out. While he’s still improving as a pass blocker from the center position and has a tendency to speed up too much on running plays, Elflein’s experience and versatility at multiple positions on the line should help him immediately at the next level.
Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report - A- grade
Last name is pronounced ELF-line, like the subway system in Middle Earth, or how you introduce yourself to the foxy cosplay gal at Ye Olde Ren Faire.
Elflein is a clubhouse leader type who moved from right guard to center last season for the Buckeyes and instantly earned All-America status. He mixes a cerebral approach to positioning and blitz pickup with a brutal finish when he latches on.
Lack of all-around quickness and agility will always give Elflein trouble against top defenders, in blitz pickup and when blocking on the move. But size, strength and work habits will keep him in the starting lineup for a long time.
Opinions seem to be a bit varied on this one, but overall it seems like a pretty darn solid pick to me.
The Vikings are set to be up again soon, folks. Keep it right here for the next selection!