Vikings to Host John Michael Schmitz for Pre-Draft Visit

Photo: Dustin Bradford - Getty Images

The first round of the NFL Draft will take place just over one month from now (April 27) and former Minnesota Gopher, John Michael Schmitz, is expecting to hear his name called at some point that first night.

Vikings schedule visit with John Michael Schmitz

Where he will end up is yet to be determined but there are three teams with reported interest in the 300 lb 24-year-old. According to Tom Pelissero (NFL Network), Schmitz has scheduled meetings with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings currently hold the #23 pick. Of the three teams listed by Pelissero, they have the lowest draft slot. The Jets are set to pick at #13 and the Steelers at #17. It won’t be the first time JMS has been linked to the Vikings. The two sides also met at the Senior Bowl back in February.

Of course, players get picked by teams they never visited with pre-draft all the time, so it’s not guaranteed that any of these three end up with the former Gophers’ center. But visits are worth noting, since each team is limited to hosting just 30 prospects, leading up to the draft.

John Michael Schmitz is widely considered the best center in this year’s draft. He earned 1st team All-Big Ten, and (2) 1st team All-America selections in 2022, along with a Reese’s Senior Bowl performance that opened eyes across the NFL.

Bradbury vs Schmitz?

The Vikings re-signed Garrett Bradbury to a 3-year deal this offseason but they have an easy out after 2023, that wouldn’t cost them anything in dead cap. John Michael Schmitz never played an offensive snap with the Gophers, at any position other than center, so it’s yet to be determined if he can play guard.

Bradbury, on the other hand, played the entire 2016 season (845 snaps) at NC State as a left guard. While there may not be an immediate need at center, the Vikings are woefully thin at guard, entering the 2023 NFL Draft. Taking John Michael Schmitz, with their 1st round pick, could certainly help remedy that one way or another.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan