A pair of former Ohio State Buckeyes, Pat Elflein and Jalyn Holmes, are currently switching positions in the trenches for the Minnesota Vikings with hopes of furthering their NFL careers.
Both young talents, drafted by Minnesota in recent years, are currently experiencing different situations while attempting to cement roles in the NFL. Elflein, an offensive lineman, was a third-round pick in 2017 while Holmes, a defensive lineman, was a 2018 selection in the fourth round.
Elflein has been a starter each of the past three seasons in Minnesota, lining up at center and left guard, but is now switching to right guard after a variety of developments in recent years. He won the starting center spot as a rookie and was very productive, but then encountered a few offseason surgeries and unfortunately graded out as the worst center in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.
The Vikings drafted NC State center Garrett Bradbury in the 2018 first round, moved Elflein to left guard where he performed a bit better, and are now transitioning the Central Ohio (Pickerington) native back to right guard where he originally blossomed in Columbus. Elflein started two seasons at right guard for the Buckeyes before moving over the ball as a senior, where he won the prestigious Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center.
Holmes is also returning to his college position, kicking back outside from defensive tackle to end in attempt to solidify a roster spot. He has appeared in 11 games (131 total snaps) for Minnesota throughout the past two seasons, contributing just a handful of tackles.
The 6-foot-5, 285-pound specimen was recently working with the starters in the absence of standout Danielle Hunter, and will likely revert back to the second team once Hunter returns. Holmes played in all 40 possible games as a Buckeye, making 85 tackles and participating in five bowl games (4-1 record).
Both Elflein and Holmes earned multiple All-Big Ten awards while in Columbus and were members of Ohio State’s 2015 national championship team. Now, despite a roller-coaster beginning to their NFL careers, each player is still just in their mid-20’s and has the opportunity to crack through as a high-impact player.
READ THE EXTENDED PIECE ON BOTH PLAYERS HERE, courtesy of Will Ragatz from “Inside the Vikings.”