Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line
The Vikings offensive line was a huge issue a season ago. It was especially weak in the interior, where left guard Pat Elflein struggled as did then-rookie center Garrett Bradbury. What should make Vikings fans worry and could be an issue that causes them to be worse than they were last season, is the team did little to improve it, and arguably got worse.
The Vikings cut their best guard in Josh Kline. He was a solid addition to the team, holding his own in pass protection and opening up holes in the running game. Kline was easily the team’s second-best offensive lineman behind Brian O’Neil, and it was shocking when the Vikings cut him last March.
What is more shocking, is the Vikings look set to promote from within rather than using a high draft pick on the position or bringing in a veteran. So instead of having a solid veteran on the right side, they are going to go with unproven Dru Samia, Oli Udoh or journeyman Dakota Dozier. While Samia and Udoh have upside, all of these options are a downgrade from Kline. With Elfein again penciled in to start, and the erratic Bradbury in the middle, the interior of the Vikings offensive line could once again be a major headache.
The Vikings did draft Ezra Cleveland to be their left tackle of the future. There are questions about his overall strength and many figured this was a pick that wouldn’t pay dividends until year two at the earliest. So the Vikings would still be putting Riley Reiff out at left tackle, whose play is clearly beginning to decline.
The Minnesota Vikings widely ignored their offensive line in the 2020 offseason and those decisions could prove to be catastrophic for the team if the gambles don’t pay off.