Pat Elflein made an immediate impact in his first pro season as the Vikings starting center, and he was recently honored for his on-field work.
Elflein was named to the 2017 All-Rookie Team by the Professional Football Writers of America, the PFWA announced Tuesday.
The Vikings selected Elflein in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, trading up from the 79th pick to snag the center at No. 70 overall. Elflein was a standout at Ohio State and made a smooth transition to the next level. He started all 14 games he played for Minnesota, sitting out of Weeks 14 and 17 with an injury.
In his first NFL season, Elflein anchored a revamped Vikings offensive line that helped the Vikings rank No. 7 in the league for rushing yards per game (122.3) in the 2017 regular season after ranking last (75.3) in 2016.
Elflein helped to protect quarterback Case Keenum, who started 14 regular-season games for the Vikings, improving the Vikings sacks allowed-per-pass attempt rate to 5.12 percent (8th) from 6.46 percent (23rd) in 2016.
The PFWA members named Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes to the All-NFL Team on Monday.
The schedule for the other awards to be announce by PFWA follows:
Wednesday, Jan. 17: Most Valuable Player, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year
Thursday, Jan. 18: Coach of the Year, Executive of the Year, Assistant Coach of the Year
Friday, Jan. 19: Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year