Center | N.C. State | Graduated senior
Height: 6-foot-3 | Weight: 306 pounds
2018: 13 starts, one rushing touchdown; Rimington Trophy winner (nation’s best center); First-Team All-ACC; consensus All-American; Senior Bowl participant
Career: Started final 39 games of his career; played 1,000 out of a possible 1,022 gradable offensive snaps in 2017; multiple academic awards, including ACC Academic Honor Roll every season
View photos of the Vikings first round draft pick N.C. State C Garrett Bradbury.
Summary: Bradbury’s trajectory has been impressive, to say the least. The Charlotte native has gone from enrolling as a tight end and redshirting in 2014 all the way to garnering the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center in 2018.
In 2015, Bradbury transitioned to guard but played primarily on special teams. He became a starter in 2016 and played 87 percent of the team’s offensive snaps before shifting to center in 2017. That season, he received the program’s Bo Rein Award for a “vital contribution in an unsung role” and helped the Wolfpack rank second among Power 5 schools with just 13 sacks allowed in 13 games.
Bradbury didn’t allow a sack on more than 900 snaps in 2018. He was charged with just two pressures allowed on 457 pass attempts during the regular season.
Bradbury also impressed on the field in timing and testing drills at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.92 seconds, which was the third-fastest time among offensive linemen this year. His 34 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press ranked second, and his time of 7.41 seconds in the 3-cone drill was the fastest among the position group.
NFL analyst Lance Zierlein wrote in Bradbury’s NFL.com draft profile that his “body control, core strength, movement skills and intelligence check very important boxes for teams looking for immediate center help.”
Zierlein cited Bradbury’s pass-protection against a Clemson squad that featured defensive tackles Christian Wilkins (profile is scheduled to publish March 25) and Dexter Lawrence (profile is scheduled to publish March 30) “proves [Bradbury] can hold his own against a variety of pass-rush flavors.”
NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah assessed Bradbury’s pass protection and run blocking.
“In the run game, he uses his quickness to consistently reach and cut off defenders. He takes good angles up to the second level, and he can adjust in space. … Overall, Bradbury will be a steady, reliable starter, and I see very minimal risk.”
Jeremiah moved Bradbury up 13 spots from 35th to 22nd overall in his post-combine listing of top 50 draft-eligible prospects.
Stacking up (before the combine): Draft analyst Dane Brugler, who writes for The Athletic, has Bradbury as the second-best interior lineman in this year’s class. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks also ranked Bradbury as his top choice among centers/guards.
Just wanted a chance: Bradbury was asked during his podium session at the combine about switching to offensive line and explained a stint that he spent on the defensive line.
“So I moved from tight end to defensive line because I wanted reps; I just wanted to play, and my role at tight end was just going to be probably around 15 plays per game at best,” Bradbury said. “Defensive line, probably 20 or 30 at best, because you rotate defensive line.
“And when Coach [Dave] Doreen, he made the move Day 1 of fall camp in 2015, I had spent eight months working on defensive line,” Bradbury added. “He said, ‘Look. You’re going to get as many reps as the starters. You’re going to be second string on Day 1. And when you do end up starting, you’ll play the whole game.’ That’s what I did in high school — I played every snap on offense and on defense. I don’t like coming off the field, I want to be on the field at all times. So that gave me the opportunity to do that.”