5 free-agent offensive tackles the Vikings could sign in 2019
By Chris Schad
- 66.9 overall grade according to PFF (48th among qualifying tackles)
- 68.5 pass blocking grade
- 60.7 run blocking grade
- 35 pressures allowed
When it comes to this year’s free agent class, Trent Brown will be on the top of the list for the plethora of teams needing offensive line help.
The 25-year-old was acquired by the New England Patriots last April for a third-round pick and after battling injuries and being ineffective with the San Francisco 49ers, he responded by having a career-year in 2018 once Patriots rookie Isaiah Wynn tore his Achilles last August.
With Brown, there are several things to consider. First, New England has one of the best offensive line coaches in the league in Dante Scarnecchia. The chances are good that Scarnecchia found something in Brown’s game and utilized it to the best of his ability unlike what they were doing in San Francisco.
The other part of the equation is that his 2018 campaign might just be a flash in the pan. Brown was elite for the 49ers in his final season in 2017, but he wound up on injured reserve with a shoulder injury late in the season.
He turned out to be fine with the Patriots, but perhaps Kyle Shanahan and his staff knew something about the long-term viability of Brown’s shoulder, hence why they gave up on him after a solid season.
That brings up the next point which is that New England is great at folding their cards on impending free-agents. For years, the Patriots have let guys such as Malcom Butler, Vince Wilfork, and Patrick Chung walk out the door only to see them fall on their face with their new teams.
There are many teams that are desperate for offensive line help this year. But with the Vikings’ current salary cap situation and the questions surrounding Brown, it may be wise for them to look elsewhere.