5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions – Week 9

(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Ezra Cleveland /

Cleveland will make his case for a long-term starting spot

Ezra Cleveland has been a big mystery for the Vikings this season. When he arrived at this summer’s training camp, the player that Minnesota had drafted as their left tackle of the future was suddenly practicing at guard. After being kept off the field for the majority of the first five games, questions started to arise on what was going on with the second-round pick.

In the past two games, Cleveland has done all he can to secure a starting spot. After a typical day for a rookie against the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland graded 10th among all qualifying guards in Week 8 against the Packers. While he didn’t get a high number of passing snaps, he did well in the reps he did receive and looks like a promising fixture on the Vikings offensive line.

The question is how long will Minnesota give him an opportunity? Pat Elflein is nearing a return from injured reserve and the coaches seem to like Dakota Dozier at left guard. That means that Cleveland will have a golden opportunity to prove he belongs against a Detroit front of Da’Shawn Hand and Danny Shelton.

If Cleveland does well, he could remain in the starting lineup for the rest of the season.