Ohio State’s first major award winner since 2008 has a new home. On Friday, the Minnesota Vikings selected C Pat Elflein in the third round (70th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.
A 247Sports 3-star prospect in 2012 and the lowest-ranked member of Urban Meyer’s first Buckeyes’ class, Elflein redshirted in his first year at Ohio State. It wouldn’t take long, however, for the Pickerington, Ohio, native to assert himself as a reliable member of the Buckeyes’ offensive line, filling in at right guard for Marcus Hall when he was suspended for the 2013 Big Ten Championship Game.
In 2014, Elflein served as a starter on Ohio State’s College Football Playoff championship team and by the end of his junior campaign, he had established as one of the top players at his position in the country. But rather than enter the 2016 NFL Draft, Elflein opted to return to OSU for one last year, converting to center prior to the start of his senior season.
In his new role, Elflein thrived, earning unanimous All-American honors and winning the Rimington Trophy, which is presented to the nation’s top center. In doing so, he became the Buckeyes’ first major individual award winner since Malcolm Jenkins took home the Thorpe Award in 2008.
How the reigning Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year’s storied college career will translate to the pros remains to be seen. But we now know where the next step in the Ohio State great’s career will begin.