What the Vikings can learn from the Colts’ offensive line rebuild

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Braden Smith
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Braden Smith /
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(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Mark Glowinski
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Mark Glowinski /

Finding talent off the scrap heap

Building through the draft isn’t the only way to produce a solid offensive line. While the Vikings have paid the tax for not drafting solid offensive linemen (aka free-agent contracts to Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers), they can also just be better with who they pluck off of other teams.

Late in the 2017 season, the Colts picked up Mark Glowinski off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks. Over the offseason, Indianapolis general manager Chris Ballard also signed Evan Boehm off of the Rams’ practice squad and Josh Andrews from the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad to help acquire depth.

When starting right guard Jack Mewhort retired in August, the Colts were prepared as Glowinski slid into the starting lineup and has been a revelation for the team this season.

Last August, the Vikings went into full-blown panic mode when Nick Easton went down for the season with a neck injury and Pat Elflein wasn’t ready to go right away after multiple offseason surgeries.

Free-agent Tom Compton did his best to fill the void left by Easton, but he clearly wasn’t a starting caliber lineman. Behind him, trade acquisition Brett Jones never earned the trust of the coaching staff and 2017 fifth-round pick Danny Isidora basically had a second-straight redshirt season.

Long story short, the Colts had built the kind of depth that the Vikings wish they had throughout the 2018 season. By the time Minnesota realized it, it was too late.