We’re still about two months out from the 2021 NFL Draft, but there are places that are looking back at recent drafts with some takes, and one in particular from the folks at Pro Football Focus stands out for the Minnesota Vikings.
One that I believe, quite frankly, is wrong.
Mike Renner at PFF has gone through each NFL team and attempts to pinpoint the biggest draft mistake that each franchise has made over the course of the last five years. When he gets to the Vikings, his selection is the Vikings taking Garrett Bradbury in the first round in 2019.
The Vikings’ selection of Bradbury has layers of mistakes packed into it. It torpedoed the career of Pat Elflein, whom they drafted the year prior as he was far more suited for the center position. He also is more than likely going to continue to put them in that no man’s land for years to come. That’s because he’s good enough in the run game to not be replaced, but a liability in pass protection. He has earned pass protection grades of 41.4 and 38.8 in his first two seasons. The icing on the cake is that the next two centers drafted — Elgton Jenkins and Erik McCoy — are two of the best interior linemen in the NFL.
I’m not sure about all that. Sure, you can make the arguments for Jenkins and McCoy, both of whom are very good. But I really don’t think you can say that Bradbury torpedoed the career of Pat Elflein. Pat Elflein did a pretty good job of torpedoing Pat Elflein’s career in Minnesota by not being very good at center and following that up by not being very good at guard. That’s not Garrett Bradbury’s fault.
Honestly, if you want to debate what the Vikings’ biggest draft mistake over the past few years has been, I think the conversation begins and ends with the selection of Laquon Treadwell in 2016. Seriously, when you draft a receiver in the first round of the draft, he plays in nine games and catches exactly one pass? Yeah. . .that’s your guy.
I think you could probably even put Mike Hughes on the mistake list ahead of Bradbury, given the fact that in three years with the Vikings Hughes has been on the field for just 24 games because of injury issues, and 14 of those 24 games came in one season (2019). He played in six games as a rookie and just four this past season.
But I’ll leave it to you, the readers, to make this decision. What do you think is the Vikings’ biggest draft mistake of the past five years?
What is the Vikings’ biggest draft mistake of the past five years?
This poll is closed
Laquon Treadwell (#22 overall in 2016)
Mike Hughes (#30 overall in 2018)
Garrett Bradbury (#18 overall in 2019)
None of the above (please specify in the comments)