Ezra Cleveland will be the Minnesota Vikings starting left tackle from Day 1
One of the biggest mysteries for the Vikings heading into 2020 is what the offensive line will look like.
Gary Kubiak stated the unit will be comprised of the five best players on the roster, and one of those figures to be the second-round pick, Ezra Cleveland.
But where Cleveland will make his professional debut remains up in the air. The Vikings already have Riley Reiff at left tackle, but he doesn’t figure to be part of their plans for next season. However, the Vikings have mentioned Cleveland has “guard like tendencies,” so we could see him on the inside at least to start his career.
In the end, this situation could play out similar to Cleveland’s counterpart, Brian O’Neill. As a second-round pick out of Pittsburgh, the Vikings wanted to keep him out of the starting lineup at right tackle so he could get bigger and stronger. Rashod Hill didn’t keep that plan in place for long, thanks to ineffectiveness and injury, and O’Neill has played a prominent role on the line since.
The difference here is that the Vikings don’t owe Reiff anything outside of the $13.2 million they’ll be paying him this fall. With the ability to clear off $11.75 million off the books next season, Reiff’s days in Minnesota appear to be numbered and the Vikings may kick off the future earlier than they expected.