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Home Sports NFL PFF's Top Free Agent Centers for Vikings to Explore

PFF’s Top Free Agent Centers for Vikings to Explore


Ryan Jensen

I previously looked at Pro Football Focus’s best free-agent cornerbacks that should be on the Vikings shopping list. Now, I will look at another area of ​​the Vikings roster that needs improvement.

Center and guard are both positions that I believe need an upgrade. So, when looking at PFF’s best interior offensive lineman, I decided to separate the two positions. Of the top 10 on the list, three are centers, all of which are worth a look. Two of them played center for the Super Bowl champions of the past two seasons. Garrett Bradbury has not been successful, and I do not expect his fifth-year option to be picked up. No time should be wasted on finding a new center.

Here are the best free-agent centers that the Vikings should explore.

Ryan Jensen

Feb 4, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen (66) during NFC practice at the Las Vegas Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

PFF IOL free agency ranking: 1

PFF grade: 70.3

Coming in at number one of the best free-agent centers, ahead of the highest-ranking guard Brandon Scherff, is Ryan Jensen. A year on from winning the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay and following Tom Brady’s retirement, Jensen is hitting the free-agent market at the right time.

Big contracts for Corey Linsley and Frank Ragnow spiked the market for centers. Jensen isn’t as good as those two, but the 30-year-old will be looking to cash in. With the Buccaneers seeking a new quarterback and without much cap space readily available, Jensen may have to move on.

PFF suggests a three-year, $ 10 million a year contract, which means finding some cap space. I’m sure space will be created to allow the new regime to make its impression on the roster. Ryan Jensen would be a good start, adding a valuable veteran presence on the offensive line.

Ben Jones

Tennessee Titans center Ben Jones (60) runs through the smoke as he is introduced before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 in Nashville, Tenn. Nas Titans Dolphins 022

PFF IOL free agency ranking: 7

PFF grade: 77.8

Slightly older at 32 years old is Ben Joneswho has had the best three years of his career in Tennessee’s wide zone rushing attack.

Another veteran option whose age should not put you off too much as Alex Mack is still playing well at center in this type of scheme for the 49ers. The 36-year-old moved to San Francisco this year on a three-year contract. So Jones should have a bit left in the tank, while his age could help the Vikings come to terms on a relatively cheap deal. PFF suggests a three-year, $ 6.67 million a year contract. A theoretical trade of Garrett Bradbury would free up a couple of million dollars to make the deal happen if the Vikings can find a trade partner.

Ben Jones would be a good scheme fit as the Titans run a version of the Mike Shanahan offensive scheme – just as the Vikings and Rams both do. It’s become a popular scheme in the NFL, with coaches making little variations to make their scheme different. Sean McVay’s scheme in Los Angeles emphasizes wide receivers, using more three-WR sets than the Vikings or Titans.

It’s a reasonable assumption that Kevin O’Connell will set up that way. As you would expect playing for the Titans, Jones impressed most with a stunning 81.5 run-blocking grade, but he is also solid in pass protection.

Brian Allen

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen (55) against the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

PFF IOL free agency grade: 10

PFF grade: 80.2

The most intriguing name to me is Brian Allen, who was the center for the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams. Can Kevin O’Connell bring him along for the ride in Minnesota?

Injury trouble hampered the start of Allen’s career, but he came into the Rams lineup this season to significant effect, scoring a phenomenal 87.4 run-blocking grade and an acceptable 63.5 grade in pass protection – 20 points higher than Garrett Bradbury.

On the back of his impressive season, he will be looking to earn more than the $ 1 million he was paid by the Rams for this season. If the Rams, who are also well over the cap right now, aren’t willing to find the cash for him, maybe the Kevin O’Connell connection puts us at the front of the queue?

He looks to be bringing several coaches with him. Also, bringing in his center from Los Angeles would give him a player he knows and trusts at a critical position. Of all the best free-agent centers, this is the one to monitor.



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