Former Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein has been selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 70th overall pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL draft on Friday.
Elflein, who moved from guard to center prior to last season, was a unanimous first-team All-American in 2016 and won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center. The Pickerington, Ohio, native is OSU’s first major individual award winner since Malcolm Jenkins won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2008 as the country’s most outstanding defensive back.
As a fifth-year senior captain, Elflein was named the Big Ten’s 2016 Rimington-Pace offensive lineman of the year. He played in 55 games as a Buckeye, 42 of which he started, including 41 consecutive starts to close out his career. His success along Ohio State’s offensive front led to him being named All-Big Ten three straight years – twice at guard and once at center.
Elflein was a member of the OSU offensive line that paved the way for former Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliott in the team’s 2014 postseason run to a national title. In that three-game stretch vs. Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon, Elliott, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys, ran for 696 yards and eight touchdowns combined.
Interestingly, Elflein joins former Buckeye offensive linemen Alex Boone and Reid Fragel at Minnesota. Given that Elflein played both center and guard at the college level, the Vikings more than likely have multiple options on where they can put him along their offensive front.
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