Vikings Visit With Alabama Tackle D.J. Fluker

Oct 27, 2012; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman D.J. Fluker (76) leaves the field after his team defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive line would not appear to be a huge need area for the Vikings going into the draft. Are they brimming over with talent at every position? No. Matt Kalil and John Sullivan are Pro Bowl level, but beyond that you have three serviceable guys. So the argument could be made that there are positions where you could upgrade. But by-and-large I don’t think people see the offensive line as an area that needs urgent attention. Not compared to some other areas of the roster.

Then again, maybe the Vikings aren’t as sold on their offensive line unit as we think. We know they like Phil Loadholt because they gave him a contract extension. And we already talked about the two Pro Bowlers. But what about the guards? Charlie Johnson and Brandon Fusco both had their ups and downs last year. Fusco found himself losing reps to Geoff Schwartz during the course of the season, and had Schwartz shown the coaches a little more physicality – yes Geoff, we know you were still recovering from an injury – Fusco likely would’ve lost his starting job.

So maybe Fusco or Johnson – or both – are on shakier ground than we think going into 2013? I don’t know. I do know there are some juicy offensive linemen out there waiting to be drafted. One of the better-known names is D.J. Fluker of Alabama. Fluker played on the outside in college, but there is a feeling that he might be better suited to play guard in the pros. The Vikings at least wanted to take a look at this guy and reportedly visited him. So did New England, Baltimore and Carolina.

Fluker actually looks like a second version of Phil Loadholt. He’s really big and not particularly quick. His value in the NFL would be as a run blocking right tackle and if the Vikings didn’t already have one of those he’d probably be a perfect fit in Minnesota. Right now he looks like a guy who would compete with Brandon Fusco or Charlie Johnson at guard. The question again is simple. Yes the O-line is far from perfect but is it a significant enough need area to spend a first round pick on? I would say no. Maybe the Vikings are thinking this guy could slip into the second. Or maybe they are worried enough about their guards to make a move on a lineman in the first round.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/BigOdd Charles Stocks

    Not a chance they go O line before the 5th

  • http://twitter.com/mrsamk Mandie Kranig

    It is called doing due diligence RS is known for taking the best player available .. even it isn’t a position of need. I know it is hard to write a blog about a team you don’t like, Especially when you know nothing about to team or don’t even bother to do research, but at least you’re trying to do better. Come on Danny boy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mike.holly2 Mike Holly

      If teams really do take the best player available regardless of need, offensive line is likely not the position to look. This draft is shallow in good O-Lineman. Linebackers and Safeties (ratings over 75 / positions). It is much deeper in WRs, D-lineman and CBs – positions the Vikings also need. Still. I think the Vikings will draft MLB Teo for need.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.holly2 Mike Holly

    They need two new guards, but they need a WR more, and they need up to 9 new starters on defense even more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.holly2 Mike Holly

    If the Vikings want to build their cover 2 D around a MLB like Teo (that can get back into coverage), they will also need a dominant nose tackle that can control the middle so Teo can’t be controlled by O-lineman (like he was vs Alabama).

    • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.laxen Daniel Laxen

      This is absolutely right…When Urlacher didn’t have quality DTs in front the Bears struggled and Urlacher ended up injured. I’m fine if the Vikings draft Te’o and a DT like the kid out of NC…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.holly2 Mike Holly

    Yesterday, 1500ESPN.com’s Tom Pelissero reported Manti Te’o and Alec Ogletree attended the Vikings’ annual “Top 30″ event on Tuesday and Wednesday at Winter Park. He quoted Frazier as saying “It’s definitely a position we need to address. We have a void there and we’ve got to find the right guy. It’s a big part of our defense. We have to get better at the middle linebacker position.” Pelissero said Teo and Ogletree are widely projected as the only two first-round prospects among middle linebackers. Ogletree also has struggled with durability and arrests.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.holly2 Mike Holly

    Former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah says Manti Te’o will be drafted by Vikings in round 1 on following video:

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-draft/0ap2000000157914/When-will-Manti-Te-o-be-drafted

  • TheDoctor67

    Like MLB Teo and DT Williams in the first round, then the best wr available in the second. Then go CB in the third, and draft 2 Guards with the 2 picks in the 4th round. .