Is Garrett Bradbury the Minnesota Vikings Biggest Draft Mistake in Last Five Years?
Five players have been selected in the first round by the Minnesota Vikings over the last five years. Is Garrett Bradbury the biggest mistake of them all?
Pro Football Focus' Michel Renner put together a list of the biggest draft mistakes over the last five years for each team. His selection for the Minnesota Vikings actually made me initially say "no way," and even left me shaking my head. That's probably because I clearly had my pick heading into the article and immediately disagreed.
For me, my mind immediately jumped to 2016 with the selection of Laquon Treadwell at pick 23. Treadwell spent four years with the Vikings from 2016-2019 and then was cut following a list of accomplishments that includes catching 65 receptions for 701 yards and two touchdowns in four seasons. Treadwell then moved on to Atlanta where he appeared in five games in 2020.
The case against Treadwell is that his lack of ability did not hurt the Vikings on the field. Minnesota still had options with guys like Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs (before the trade), and Kyle Rudolph to fill the void. Looking back a couple of years later, and it's easy to write off Treadwell in general as someone that the team needed.
Here are the other first-round selections for the Vikings over the last five years:
- 2016: Laquon Treadwell (23)
- 2017: No Pick (Pick traded to Philadelphia for Sam Bradford)
- 2018: Mike Hughes (30)
- 2019: Garrett Bradbury (18)
- 2020: Justin Jefferson (22), Jeff Gladney (31)
Renner made great points regarding Bradbury as to why he should be considered the biggest mistake. Bradbury was immediately positioned as the team's starting center and forced the move of Pat Elflein to guard. The former third-round pick struggled at the guard position and ultimately ended up leaving the Vikings after being waived. Bradbury has struggled in pass blocking, but yet his run blocking ability will keep him solidified in the center spot for a while.
Based on cutting another player's career short, and being just good enough to be a starting center, Bradbury was named the worst first-round pick for the Vikings over the last five years by Renner.
It does make sense, but Treadwell and even Mike Hughes keep popping into my head first. At least Bradbury is a starter and contributes to the team. Treadwell is gone, and Hughes has struggled to stay healthy and on the field.
What do you think?
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