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Vikings draft prospect microscope: Ohio State C/G Billy Price

By Matthew Coller

As we lead up to the NFL Draft here at 1500ESPN, we will take a closer look at the prospects who could end up as Minnesota Vikings. For this edition, we focus on Ohio State interior offensive lineman Billy Price…

Why the Vikings could draft Billy Price:

While the Vikings just spent more money on a quarterback than any other team has in history, you can bet they will still want to be a strong running team and look to design their offensive line to give Dalvin Cook the best opportunity to succeed. Price is a powerful run blocker who plays with the type of toughness that would fit in next to players like Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers and Pat Elflein.

Price is a decorated lineman, having won the Remington Trophy as the nation’s top center in 2017 and was a unanimous first-team All-American.

What draft experts are saying:

ESPN’s Todd McShay picked Price for the Vikings in his latest mock draft.

McShay wrote:

“One way or another, Minnesota will solve its starting QB situation through free agency. With that in place, there aren’t a lot of holes on this roster. Minnesota had great success with 2017 third-round pick Pat Elflein, so they go back to the Buckeyes well here. Price tore his pec at the combine and underwent surgery, but he should be fine for training camp. He’s an experienced starter with great character, and could be an immediate upgrade.”

Price’s profile:

“Plays like a Wildling at times with tremendous explosiveness, strength and, almost excessive initial charge. Price’s power and leverage give him a huge advantage over most centers in this draft. He should be able to come into the league and deal with NFL power right away. However, his impatience as a blocker and tendency to charge in head-first will be used against him by savvy NFL opponents if he doesn’t get it cleaned up. Price is an early starter with Pro Bowl potential.”

Pro Football Focus said:

“Price is the rare four-year starter at a major college program and that itself is enough to get evaluators attention. He’s far from a perfect prospect, though, as he’s had inconsistencies on tape still this past season that you’d have hoped would be cleaned up by now. He alternates ugly blocks with dominant ones that NFL coaches will think they can harness every snap.”

What the numbers say:

Pass blocking snaps: 434

Results: Two sacks, one QB hit, 10 hurries

Here are Price’s Pro Football Focus grades in each area:

Price clearly dominates as a run blocker, but his pass blocking numbers are concerning. He ranks 27th among draft eligible centers in Pass Block Efficiency.

Unfortunately the Buckeyes’ center injured his pectoral while doing the bench press at the NFL Combine. He is above average in height (6-foot-3) and weight (305-pounds).

Bottom line:

If the Vikings want to create the best run blocking offensive line they can, Price would be a great addition. They will certainly look to succeed on offense by using Cook on the ground and a heavy dose of play-action along with screen passes whenever possible. Price also appears to have the right mentality to step in as a Day 1 starter the same way Pat Elflein did last year.

Watch Billy Price:

The post Vikings draft prospect microscope: Ohio State C/G Billy Price appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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