With their only selection in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft, the Vikings decided to use their pick on former Boise State offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland.
After Cleveland spent most of his time in college as a left tackle, most assumed he would eventually replace Riley Reiff on the left side of Minnesota’s offensive line. However, the Vikings have been using the rookie in a different role this season.
Due to Pat Elflein and Dru Samia dealing with injuries, Cleveland was forced to fill in as the Vikings’ starting right guard back in their Week 6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He had a decent performance against the Falcons, but the rookie really stepped up his play during Minnesota’s win over the Packers on Sunday.
Cleveland played a key role in the Vikings offensive line being able to clear the way for Dalvin Cook to finish with 226 total yards in Green Bay. NFL Network’s Brian Baldinger did a great job at showcasing what Minnesota’s rookie offensive lineman was able to do well during a film breakdown he recently shared on his Twitter account.
The plan might still be for the Vikings to eventually move Cleveland over to left tackle and replace Reiff. But for now, the rookie is exceeding expectations as the team’s starting right guard.