Now that we’re down to just 60 days remaining before the opening game of the 2021 season, we’re running low on Hog Mollies. One of the main focuses this offseason for new general manager Scott Fitterer was the offensive line, and one of the first signings he made for that position group is our new No. 60 — former Jets and Vikings interior lineman Pat Elflein.
After playing both guard positions at Ohio State, Elflein spent his senior season at center, winning the Rimington Trophy for the best center in college football. The Vikings saw fit to spend a third round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft on the versatile lineman, and he notched 14 starts his rookie year at center. He would play a couple more productive seasons in Minnesota at both center and guard.
After another solid start last season, he spent some time on the Injured/Designated to Return list after injuring his thumb. The Vikings activated then released him in November. Elflein was then claimed by the Jets, where he started six games at left guard. Ironically enough, the Vikings originally made a trade with the Jets to originally draft Elflein. Elflein is currently penciled in as the starting left guard for the 2021 iteration of the Carolina Panthers. The team clearly saw enough out of his injury shortened season to sign him to a three year deal worth over $13 million. If and when injuries happen, look for Elflein to be moved around the interior of the offensive line to fill any holes.