5 riddles Mike Zimmer must solve at Vikings training camp in 2021

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Zimmer /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) Wyatt Davis /

Interior protection

Another riddle facing Mike Zimmer this offseason is within the interior protection. The Vikings crumbled more often than not in pressure situations in this important area, and if they can become a more cohesive unit in 2021, it should enable the offense to put up the sort of numbers needed in pursuit of playoff football.

Minnesota has more options available to them after a couple of notable arrivals. Perhaps the most significant of these is Wyatt Davis, who enjoyed a standout college career at Ohio State and was given a first-round grade by many analysts before dropping to the third.

This could be an absolute steal by the Vikings if Davis reaches his ceiling. Whether he’ll be ready to start from the outset remains to be seen, but Zimmer will know for sure after training camp and whatever reps the rookie is given in the preseason.

Much is also expected of Ezra Cleveland after catching the eye as a rookie on the interior. This appears to be the position he’s best suited at the present time, which is fine with the Vikings thanks to the presence of Brian O’Neill and first-round pick Christian Darrisaw manning the edge.

Cleveland should get the start on one side, and Minnesota might end up throwing Davis in at the deep end to see how he gets on in the face of sterner competition.

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The Vikings already know what they have in Dakota Dozier and Dru Samia, which isn’t a lot based on their previous production. Some new blood is the order of the day and this might even bring about some improved performances from center Garrett Bradbury in the process.