Don’t expect the Vikings offensive line to improve in 2021

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the worst in the NFL when it comes to evaluating offensive linemen.

For the last handful of years, a top offseason priority for the Minnesota Vikings has been to improve their offensive line.

Despite it being something at the top of their priority list for so long, the Vikings still haven’t been able to figure out a way to build a successful offensive line.

Minnesota has taken multiple paths in their attempt to improve the unit, but nothing has really worked. They’ve invested first-round draft picks, signed veteran free agents, and even tried to trade for a few top blockers over the last few years. Still, none of these methods have resulted in the team’s offensive line ranking among the NFL’s best blocking units at the end of a season.

Why should anyone expect the Minnesota Vikings offensive line to be better in 2021?

Despite all of the resources Minnesota has poured into fixing their offensive line recently, the team hasn’t even been able to construct an average blocking unit.

The Pro Football Focus account on Twitter that mainly focuses on the Vikings shared some numbers on Thursday that revealed just how poor the team’s offensive line performance has been since Mike Zimmer was hired to be the franchise’s head coach in 2014.

Unsurprisingly, the season in which Minnesota finished with their highest ranking during Zimmer’s tenure happened back in 2017 when the team finished 13-3 and earned a spot in the NFC Championship.

Other than that season and the 2014 campaign, the Vikings offensive line has typically finished each year ranked among the league’s six-worst units. These rankings point to Minnesota’s front office and coaching staff being one of the NFL’s worst group of evaluators when it comes to finding talented offensive linemen.

So heading into this offseason, the Vikings’ least shocking priority is to improve their offensive line yet again. But why should Minnesota fans expect the fortunes of the unit to change in 2021 when the team’s front office has failed to improve the position group for the last seven years?

Building a solid offensive line seems to be the Achilles heel of Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and maybe this should just be accepted as the team prepares for next season. At this point, it’s fair to assume that the offensive line isn’t going to get any better as long as Spielman is the guy picking the players.

At the same time, this isn’t to say Minnesota shouldn’t put any effort into fixing their offensive line this offseason, because they should, and they will. It’s just that the expectations for how much the unit will be able to improve in 2021 should definitely be lowered since the team hasn’t given people any reason to think otherwise in a very long time.