It can be no top secret that the Vikings’ greatest weak spot, bar none, is their offensive line.
It was among the the NFL’s worst in 2020, which is an all-far too-regular event for this franchise. The O-line has been a perpetual difficulty in Minnesota for many years and many years, and even soon after investing a draft decide on in the initial two rounds on a lineman in each of the past three several years, it has not been mounted.
Free of charge agency only designed it an even more pressing want. The Vikings introduced veteran Riley Reiff for wage cap reasons, this means they’ve dropped just one of the two finest gamers from their 2020 O-line. They built no main additions to assistance switch Reiff, with their only moves becoming to trade for Mason Cole and to re-indication Rashod Hill and Dakota Dozier.
The good news is for the Vikings, this year’s draft is LOADED with intriguing offensive linemen. If they can find a great rookie or two to join Brian O’Neill, Garrett Bradbury, and Ezra Cleveland, Minnesota could be rather shut to owning a proficient device up front. (There are nevertheless no cost agent selections out there, way too). What is nice about this year’s OL course is that there is plenty of depth, so even if the Vikings go in a distinctive way in the initial round, they are going to nevertheless be equipped to insert expertise at tackle and/or guard later on on.
With that in thoughts, in this article are five offensive linemen the Vikings could target on just about every of the draft’s three times.
Working day 1 (Round 1)
- Northwestern OT/G Rashawn Slater
- Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw
- USC OT/G Alijah Vera-Tucker
- Oklahoma Point out OT Teven Jenkins
- Texas OT Samuel Cosmi
Current Vikings decide(s): No. 14
The only initial-spherical offensive lineman the Vikings have no shot at landing without the need of buying and selling up is Oregon tackle Penei Sewell. Slater is also unlikely to make it to 14, but if that comes about, it need to be an complete no-brainer for Rick Spielman and company. For the report, I’m on board with the notion of trading up for Sewell or Slater if they fall further more than predicted, while it truly is value remembering that the Vikings haven’t traded up in just the first round due to the fact 1987.
If the Vikings keep place at 14, the next two offensive linemen who would make the most feeling there are Darrisaw and Vera-Tucker. Darrisaw is a incredibly attention-grabbing deal with prospect who experienced a dominant 2020 year for the Hokies. Vera-Tucker is almost certainly the safest OL prospect in the course outside the house of Sewell and Slater his athleticism and procedure give him a superior flooring and he is acquired the flexibility to play deal with or guard, which could attractiveness to the Vikings.
Two other names to know, specifically if the Vikings wind up trading down, are Jenkins and Cosmi. Jenkins is an absolute mauler of a correct deal with, while Cosmi is an elite athlete with a pretty identical profile to that of O’Neill and Cleveland. He suits the mould of what we know the Vikings like in offensive linemen, so you should not be amazed if they discover a way to get him in purple.
Day 2 (Rounds 2 and 3)
- NDSU OT Dillon Radunz
- Wisconsin-Whitewater C/G Quinn Meinerz
- Ohio State G Wyatt Davis
- Northern Iowa OT Spencer Brown
- BYU OT Brady Christensen
Latest Vikings decide on(s): No. 78 (3rd spherical), No. 90 (third spherical)
Day 2 of this year’s draft is incredibly deep when it arrives to offensive linemen. If the Vikings draft, say, an edge rusher or wide receiver in the to start with round, they could still be capable to land a very first-spherical caliber lineman in the second (if they purchase a second-rounder someway) or third round. And if they go OL in the first, there is certainly an argument to be made that they must just double down on that unit with one of their following picks, much too.
This is the place you happen to be heading to see some of the big-time modest-university OL prospective clients go off the board. Radunz is a amazing athlete who held down Trey Lance’s blind facet for the Bison above the earlier couple decades. He is not likely to make it out of the second round. Meinerz was just one of the most significant tales coming out of this year’s Senior Bowl and has as significantly upside as any pure interior OL not named Landon Dickerson or Creed Humphrey. Brown is yet another outstanding athlete who could make a great deal of perception for the Vikings in the third round.
There are a good deal of Ability 5 linemen envisioned to be taken in this vary, as well. Davis assignments as an quick influence starter at guard following a terrific profession for the Buckeyes. Christensen failed to show up at a Ability 5 faculty, but he’s climbing up draft boards just after an remarkable workout at BYU’s professional day. Other significant-college linemen to hold in head on Working day 2 include Liam Eichenberg (Notre Dame), Jalen Mayfield (Michigan), Alex Leatherwood (Alabama) and Jackson Carman (Clemson). There should be some incredibly gifted linemen out there in the 3rd spherical if the Vikings want to get benefit.
Working day 3 (Rounds 4 as a result of 7):
- Stanford OT Walker Minimal
- Illinois G Kendrick Inexperienced
- Notre Dame OT Robert Hainsey
- Florida OT Stone Forsythe
- South Carolina G Sadarius Hutcherson
Existing Vikings choose(s): No. 119 (fourth round), No. 125 (fourth round), No. 134 (fourth round), No. 143 (fourth spherical), No. 157 (fifth round), No. 168 (fifth spherical), No. 199 (sixth round)
I would be really shocked if the Vikings really don’t pick out at the very least 1 offensive lineman during the draft’s initial two days. But with only a few picks in the to start with three rounds (for now), they may deal with other wants early or get the most effective player out there, no matter of situation. If they only have a single OL heading into Working day 3, they’re going to presumably want to use some of their seven picks in rounds 4 as a result of six to just take shots on linemen.
The Vikings’ history of Day 3 OL due to the fact Spielman turned GM — Jeff Baca, Travis Bond, David Yankey, T.J. Clemmings, Tyrus Thompson, B.J. Dubose, Willie Beavers, Danny Isidora, Colby Gossett, Dru Samia, Oli Udoh, Blake Brandel, and Kyle Hinton — is ugly, to say the the very least. But maybe this could be the year that modifications?
Minimal is a dude who could possibly have initial-round talent. But he successfully has not played considering the fact that 2018 because of a torn ACL in 2019 and an opt-out previous calendar year. If he slips into the fourth round as some are projecting, the Vikings should take a likelihood on his upside. He could possibly be a Day 2 guy, though.
Environmentally friendly is just one of my most loved guard prospective buyers to retain an eye on in the fourth, alongside with Ben Cleveland and Trey Smith (if they make it that much). The Illinois product or service is an explosive athlete who would fit correctly in the Vikings’ zone blocking scheme. If you’re seeking for a dynamic athlete at guard in the fifth or sixth spherical, Hutcherson could possibly be your person. Finally, Hainsey and Forsythe are a couple tackles to hold in thoughts on Working day 3.
Record implies that the Vikings are not able to hope to come across an immediate beginning possibility on Working day 3, but they can fill out their depth and increase players who they believe may possibly have the upside to create into beginning-caliber gamers in their second or third season.
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