For the second year in a row, the NC State football team had an alum selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Center/guard Garrett Bradbury joined former edge rusher Bradley Chubb as a recent first-round pick from NC State. Linebacker Germaine Pratt, who took a huge step forward in his senior season, saw his name called during the second day of the draft. One year after tying LSU and Ohio State for the second-most selections in the 2018 NFL draft with seven, the Wolfpack is off to a strong showing in the 2019 draft.
C/G Garrett Bradbury to the Minnesota Vikings
Bradbury was selected with the 18th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings on the first day of the 2019 NFL draft. Bradbury was the only NC State alum selected in the first round this year and was tied for the highest selected center drafted since 2011. Bradbury can be an immediate starter for the Vikings and is extremely versatile, being able to play both the guard and the center spots, though he will likely start at center for Minnesota.
Bradbury was the second interior offensive lineman taken in the draft for a reason. His ability to protect the quarterback is unquestionably great and he creates wide open lanes for runners.
The 6-foot-3, 306-pound center will join a Vikings o-line that was one of the worst in the league last season, and will instantly improve the condition of the line, as well as provide valuable protection for franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins, and the Vikings overall, suffered greatly because of the lack of protection.
LB Germaine Pratt to the Cincinnati Bengals
Pratt was taken 72nd overall in the third round of the draft, before former teammates Ryan Finley and Kelvin Harmon. Pratt is an electric player on defense and can play all over the field, as he entered NC State as a safety, but has elite pass-rushing skills. The linebacker is a seamless fit on a Bengals team that was mediocre at best on defense last season.
Pratt will likely start right away for the Bengals, who were lacking linebacker depth, and give the team a strong leadership presence in the future. Pratt led NC State in tackles and is an overall elite player at his position. He was also taken over fellow linebacker draftee Mack Wilson from Alabama, showing that the Bengals valued Pratt highly enough to take him for this pick.
The NFL draft will resume with rounds four through seven on Saturday at noon.