5 bold predictions for the Vikings 2020 training camp

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Bisi Johnson
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Bisi Johnson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images) Ezra Cleveland /

Cleveland will crack the starting lineup at guard

There’s no question that Ezra Cleveland will play a major role for the Vikings as his career progresses.

As Minnesota’s second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Cleveland figures to be the team’s eventual replacement for Riley Reiff at left tackle. Since Reiff surprisingly stuck around after an offseason of rumors, the rookie will either need to learn behind the veteran or find another way to get onto the field.

In the early stages of camp, Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak believes that path could be at guard. Minnesota has worked out the Boise State product on the inside as more of an evaluation of his skill set and if he does well, he should be able to at least compete for a starting spot.

The chances of seeing him start on either side increase when one considers what the Vikings have behind him. Much like the case with Elflein, Dru Samia and Oli Udoh were not mentioned in Kubiak’s recent presser. The combination of Dakota Dozier, Brett Jones, Kyle Hinton and others also doesn’t do a lot to inspire confidence.

The concern here is whether a move inside will stunt Cleveland’s development as a tackle. But for now, Minnesota doesn’t seem concerned about that.

If Cleveland starts, it can at least be a way for the Vikings to get their best players on the field. Considering the offensive line is a weakness of theirs, that can’t be a bad thing.