From the moment the Minnesota Vikings handed in the draft card with Garrett Bradbury's name written down it was presumed the offensive lineman would slide in as the starting center from the get-go. Consider that formality confirmed.
Ahead of mandatory minicamp this week, Vikings assistant head coach and offensive adviser Gary Kubiak told Sid Hartman of the Minnesota Star-Tribune that Bradbury will be the starting center.
"Oh yeah, that is where he's going to be, and hopefully he will stay there for a long time," Kubiak said. "He is doing great. For a rookie to be put in there at center from Day 1, it's hard on him. But he is doing a good job."
The decision to install Bradbury at the pivot moves Pat Elflein to guard after starting 27 games at center the past two seasons. Minnesota also signed right guard Josh Kline this offseason. The interior offensive line shuffle will immediately upgrade a problematic point for the Vikings, starting with the rookie center.
Bradbury won the Rimington Trophy as the nation's top center and received first-team All-ACC and Associated Press All-American honors in 2018. The rookie's athletic profile projects as a perfect pivot with the ability to pull and get to the second level. That athletic ability at center meshes with the type of zone blocking scheme Kubiak prefers.
After the Vikings struggled to run the ball last season, Kubiak believes the line overhaul this offseason will get Minnesota back on track.
"We better be able to run it," Kubiak said. "Obviously we want to be physical and run the ball, and if we do that we'll have a chance to make some plays."