Why the Vikings should draft an offensive lineman in the first round

(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Alijah Vera-Tucker
(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Alijah Vera-Tucker /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Dakota Dozier /

Minnesota didn’t upgrade the offensive line in free agency

The Vikings have again failed to upgrade their offensive line in free agency this year, and the unit, as a whole, has actually gotten worse.

Minnesota released their best blocker from a season ago in Riley Reiff. He was a wall on the left side, and while he was due to make a high amount of money in 2021, his play on the field was actually worth the price. With Reiff gone, career backup Rashod Hill or inexperienced Ezra Cleveland are the favorites to replace him.

The Vikings also failed to bring in quality talent across the line in free agency. They did trade for Arizona Cardinals interior lineman Mason Cole, but his overall grades have been on par with Minnesota’s interior blockers from a season ago, and that isn’t a good thing.

The Vikings also re-signed some offensive linemen from a season ago. The one that made sense was Hill, as he provides good depth at both left and right tackle. For some reason though, Minnesota also felt the need to re-sign Dakota Dozier this year, whose play on the field in 2020 proved he doesn’t belong in the NFL.

The Vikings simply can’t go into next season with the offensive line in the current shape that it’s in. As of right now, this group is set to be one of the worst in the league, and that’s the biggest reason why Minnesota should grab a big old blocker with their first choice in this year’s draft.

Rashawn Slater or Penei Sewell would be the dream pick for the Vikings, but they’ll both likely be long gone by the time Minnesota gets on the clock.

The Vikings could look to grab a guard like Alijah Vera-Tucker or a tackle like Chrisitan Darrisaw. Darrisaw is a mean, physical blocker who would likely end up at left tackle, forcing Cleveland back inside.

Vera-Tucker would probably take over one of Minnesota’s starting guards, which would potentially move Cleveland to left tackle. Essentially, either of these choices improves two positions from where it is now, and the Vikings’ offensive line would finally get the upgrade it has been waiting for.