Continuing to break down the Vikings’ roster position-by-position. Let’s have a look at offensive guard with a couple new faces in the mix. The depth chart as it now stands:
1. Charlie Johnson
Held up okay in his first season sandwiched between Matt Kalil and John Sullivan. Not a great pass blocker but a decent run blocker. His job appears to be secure despite the drafting of two guards.
2. Brandon Fusco
Fusco got the right guard job out of camp last year despite the presence of Geoff Schwartz who was plucked in free agency. There are some who still wonder why Schwartz wasn’t given more of a chance. The former Panther was mixed in for a series here and a series there during the season but that was it. Why didn’t the Vikings just give Schwartz a start and see what he could do for a full game? Who knows. They kept giving Schwartz little tastes like they were only trying to push Fusco. Now Schwartz is gone but the Push Fusco (that sounds weirdly dirty) strategy is still in force. In fact it is being taken to another level. Fusco will have to work his tail off to keep his job.
3. Seth Olsen
Ended up starting with Indianapolis last year. Is he in the mix at right guard or is he strictly there for veteran depth? We will find out. He is a mediocre player at best.
4. Jeff Baca
The UCLA kid seems to have a very colorful personality. He will also get a shot to win the right guard job in camp. There aren’t a lot of legit camp battles to watch this year so a lot of eyes will be focused on Fusco v. Baca. I’m not sure we’re looking at a future Pro Bowler in either case.
5. Travis Bond
Had weight problems in college. Size-wise he looks like a tackle but foot-speed-wise he looks like a guard. They took a flier on this guy and I don’t really expect him to be seriously in the mix.
Are the Vikings better off than last year?
They might have been better off keeping Schwartz who claims he was not fully healthy last year. But that’s moot now. Left guard belongs to Charlie Johnson barring injury. Johnson is what he is: adequate. Right guard comes down to a known mediocrity in Fusco vs. a low-round draft pick in Baca with Olsen as a back-up plan. David Dixon ain’t walking through that door.