The preseason is just about over, and with that we’re probably going to start seeing sites around the internet start to put together their initial Power Rankings as we head into the 2022 NFL season. One outlet has done just that, and they don’t appear to think too highly of our Minnesota Vikings.
The initial Power Rankings for this season are out over at ESPN, and they have the Vikings all the way down at #23 to start the year. That seems awfully low for a team that was competitive in pretty much every game they played last season and doesn’t appear to have really gotten any worse over the course of the offseason.
ESPN’s rankings don’t really get into the “why” of the teams being ranked where they are, but they do have a player for each team that is on the “hot seat.” For the Vikings, not surprisingly, that player is center Garrett Bradbury.
Bradbury was an immediate starter at center after the Vikings drafted him No. 18 overall in 2019. But he was benched briefly last season, and new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract. That means Bradbury’s deal will expire after this season, giving him one final chance to convince the team he can be its long-term answer.
The rest of the offensive line seems to be pretty well set at this point, with rookie Ed Ingram apparently taking control of the right guard spot going forward. The team didn’t really bring in any serious challengers for Bradbury’s spot, though Austin Schlottmann has performed well this preseason with the second-team line. Will we see Bradbury replaced at some point this season, whether it’s by Schlottmann or someone else?