What the Vikings can expect from Christian Darrisaw in 2021

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Christian Darrisaw
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Christian Darrisaw /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) Christian Darrisaw /

The Good

Immediate Starter

Prior to the draft, the question of whether Ezra Cleveland or Brian O’Neill might possibly be the starting left tackle for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. Now it should be clear that it will be Christian Darrisaw.

A pure offensive tackle, Darrisaw entered Virginia Tech and immediately stepped in at left tackle. His excellent play allowed him to hold on to the position throughout his college career where he only missed one game due to injury.

Prototypical size

Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 322 pounds, Darrisaw has the size that experts love to see from left tackles. He possesses an excellent blend of power and athleticism that can frustrate one-dimensional pass rushers and punch slower defenders right out of running plays.

The weight distribution gives Darrisaw a nice anchor and low center of gravity, allowing him to get the better of any defensive linemen who don’t get their pad level lower than him. When you add that with a nice arm length, you have a blocker who can do anything asked of him.

Pass protection

Although Christian Darrisaw is a very good run blocker, the mammoth of a man excels when protecting his quarterback’s blindside. He was Pro Football Focus’s highest-graded power five pass-blocker in this draft class and didn’t allow a single quarterback hit or sack during his 2020 campaign.

Darrisaw should be able to go toe-to-toe with some of the NFL’s best pass rushers and hold his own right away. As a patient player who works hard not to get beat or be flagged, he should be a welcome addition to the Vikings’ offensive line.