Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook probably won't bust into the NFL with 1,600 yards and 15 touchdowns like Ezekiel Elliott did with the Cowboys last season, but Pat Elflein has played with both and sees similarities in their game.
"Zeke, in college was a great runner, but even without the ball a great football player," Elflein said in an interview with the One Hunnit Podcast on Wednesday. "Blocking and going downfield and selling out for his teammates, and I can see Dalvin doing that, too. Even when he doesn't have the ball he's blocking and he's running downfield, running his routes hard.
"Those are two great qualities of a football player and they both have that."
Elflein, the third-round pick of the Vikings who will likely start at center as a rookie this season, played guard for the Buckeyes when Elliott rushed for more than 1,800 yards as a sophomore and junior.
As a senior at Ohio State, Elflein switched to center and was named a consensus first team All-American. The Vikings are hoping he's able to adjust in the NFL as quickly as he did in college.
"We went under center very few times at Ohio State. Here we do both," Elflein explained. "I already have the shotgun down and under center is a little easier, you just gotta put it right back there and make sure it gets to the quarterback. Mentally, it's a bigger challenge in the NFL - they put more responsibility on the center. That's an adjustment but I'm picking it up and just gotta keep getting reps at it and keep grinding."