The worst-case scenario
- LT – Riley Reiff
- LG – Dru Samia
- C – Pat Elflein
- RG – Dakota Dozier
- RT – Rashod Hill
We can’t end this article without rolling out a worst-case, nightmare scenario for the Vikings offensive line.
This combo would happen if Minnesota suffered two catastrophic injuries in this year’s training camp. In this nightmarish realm, Garrett Bradbury is lost for the season, and stud right tackle Brian O’Neill also falls victim to the season-ending injury bug.
Ezra Cleveland would also struggle to pick up Gary Kubiak’s blocking scheme and the league-wide fears about his overall strength would turn out to be true. He’d be deemed not ready to start until 2021 and he would remain on the bench as a depth piece all season long.
Looking at this line combination, the biggest worries would be on the interior. Despite his stellar rookie season at center, Pat Elflein has done nothing but struggle since. Dakota Dozier tends to play well off the bench, but every time he’s started he’s had issues handling the man lined up across him.
Dru Samia would be a major question mark on the left side and while he has potential, it’s easy to see the ground game suffering and Kirk Cousins would probably experience tons of interior pressure with this trio of interior blockers.
The tackles would be the strongest aspect of this line, but that isn’t saying much. Reiff is still an average NFL starting left tackle. His play declined in 2019 and it could continue to trend downward during the upcoming season.
Rashod Hill has been a mixed bag when forced into a starting role and he could have some good games mixed in with his mostly bad ones. The Vikings will hope they never have to see this line in action because if they do, the losses would likely pile up in a hurry.