Going into the draft cycle, there was a lot of discussion about the center position.
After drafting Garrett Bradbury at 18th overall in the 2019 NFL draft, the Vikings thought they had the center position solved. He was viewed as “pro ready” and a perfect fit for the wide zone scheme.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t come to fruition. Bradbury has struggled, especially against the pass. Per Pro Football Focus, Bradbury has had multiple grades with a pass-blocking grade of zero and hasn’t finished in the top-25 in PFF grade at the center position.
During a press conference on Saturday, head coach Kevin O’Connell spoke to the media and re-iterated that there is still a center competition.
O’Connell says there’s still a competition at center. Says Bradbury has been good in the run game but admits some struggles in pass protection. Says he believes he is strong enough but needs better technique consistently.
— Mark Craig (@markcraignfl) August 6, 2022
Free agent signees Chris Reed and Austin Schlottmann have both been taking snaps at center with second-team reps. After reports of Bradbury getting forklifted multiple times in drills, these comments are not a good sign.
Looks like my speculation was correct, that they started moving Reed to center in response to Bradbury struggling and exploring the possibility of replacing him as a starter https://t.co/YAth5pZi9x
— Arif Hasan, former hexagon (@ArifHasanNFL) August 6, 2022
Seeing Reed taking those snaps at center seems to be a direct result of Bradbury’s struggles.