2013 NFL Draft: Minnesota Vikings draft road-grader Travis Bond

By Gil Alcaraz IV
Travis Bond
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into April, the Minnesota Vikings knew that they needed some help along the interior of the offensive line. They took UCLA guard Jeff Baca in the sixth round, but weren’t satisfied with only one new hogmolly.

With the No. 214 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Vikings selected North Carolina guard Travis Bond (No. 76, pictured above), the college running mate of Top 10 selection Jonathan Cooper.

During his college career, Bond started all along the offensive line, getting experience at both guard and tackle positions as part of an impressive North Carolina front five. A big-bodied blocker who looks the part of a dominant NFL guard, Bond has the upside to develop into a quality starter for the Vikings.

A road-grader in the run game, Bond is an engulfing force that is almost immovable when he puts his heel in the ground. Rarely do defenders find a way around him, as he does a great job of using balance and a strong base to mirror the pass rush. His long arms help him stick with defenders and take control in the run game.

There are a few concerns about his overall blocking, as he does tend to over-extend and get out of position at times. He’ll thrive at guard because he doesn’t have the foot speed or change of direction to keep up with speed rushers on the outside.

If he hopes to earn a starting gig in the NFL, Bond will need to do a better job of taking his career seriously. Despite his size, he was never committed to the weight room at North Carolina and appeared to have an attitude issue. The Vikings, however, have the type of locker room that can boost his work habits and get the most out of the physically gifted guard.

Bond is a career underachiever with the tools to be a solid starter in the NFL. Leave it to the Vikings to unlock that potential.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Content Planner/NFL Featured Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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