The Minnesota Vikings were above average in pass blocking in 2017

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Despite injuries and moving players around on the offensive line, the Minnesota Vikings ended 2017 in the top half of the NFL in pass blocking efficiency.

Last season was a rough one for the Minnesota Vikings in terms of the offensive line. Two new faces came to the team’s offensive tackle positions through free agency and a rookie draft pick jumped into the starting lineup at the center spot.

Add to the new faces the fact that injuries placed Nick Easton on injured reserve and forced the team to try different combinations to fill the hole at left guard, including pulling the right tackle to try him in the spot.

Still, despite those issues, the Vikings ended the season ranked number 13 in pass blocking efficiency according to a recent article on the Pro Football Focus website.

In the article, PFF reveals that the team ran 572 passing plays and the quarterback was pressured on 154 of those. Considering how Case Keenum was elusive in the pocket and made defenders miss often, Minnesota looked a bit better than they actually were.

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings

However, PFF did praise the play of guard Nick Easton, who was the highest rated offensive lineman in terms of pass blocking efficiency, earning a score of 97.8 compared the team’s overall rating of 79.3.

"“The bright spot on the line was guard Nick Easton, who allowed just three hits and nine hurries on his 401 pass-block snaps and finished one of just five guards to play more than 400 pass-block snaps without allowing a sack.”"

With another year of experience with the team, Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers, and Pat Elflein should settle in with the team a little better and Nick Easton should be ready to go for a return to the left guard position during the 2018 season.

The retirement of Joe Berger could create an issue at the right guard position, but there are several players who could fill the gap, including right tackle Mike Remmers, Danny Isidora, Tom Compton and rookie offensive lineman Brian O’Neill.

Next: Who could be the Vikings' starting right tackle in 2018

Considering the healthy investment made in quarterback Kirk Cousins for the next three seasons, the Vikings will need to ensure they can do a better job of giving more time in the passing game. Hopefully, the team can do just that under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.