5 options who could start at guard for the Vikings in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dru Samia
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Dru Samia /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Riley Reiff /

Move someone from left tackle

The wild card of this guard competition could be what the Vikings decide to do at left tackle. Riley Reiff has held down the spot for the past three seasons, but Minnesota used the 58th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft to select Ezra Cleveland as his successor.

Part of that is because while Reiff has been serviceable, he’s nowhere near a replaceable commodity. The 31-year-old’s overall grade of 71.4 ranked 34th among tackles in 2019, but his pass-blocking grade was an issue, ranking 40th at 73.2. While that’s not awful, Reiff tends to have his blow-up games at the worst times including allowing six pressures against San Francisco in last season’s playoffs.

Much like Elflein sealing his fate with a bad playoff performance, Reiff may have done the same. The Vikings tried to get Trent Williams during the draft, but that deal fell through once Cleveland was still there in the second round.

As someone who the Vikings have described as having guard-like tendencies, Cleveland could begin his career at guard before sliding over to tackle when they can save over $11 million by cutting Reiff next offseason.

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Whatever the Vikings decide to do, they’ll need to find an upgrade and if moving someone over is a temporary solution, it might be the best option heading into 2020.