Vikings latest problem in the trenches should come as no surprise

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Brian O'Neill
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Brian O'Neill /

Once again, the Minnesota Vikings are heading into the regular season with offensive line issues.

There are multiple options to choose from, but no one would probably object to someone making the claim that the greatest weakness of the Minnesota Vikings since Rick Spielman became the team’s general manager in 2012 has been their offensive line.

With almost every approach that Spielman and the Vikings have taken to build a dependable offensive line, it’s typically resulted in failure. Minnesota has forked over major cash for experienced veteran blockers in free agency and they’ve spent several early-round draft picks to try and improve the unit.

But nothing has really ever worked for the Vikings when it’s come to fixing a consistently disappointing offensive line.

Offensive line issues are still front and center for the Minnesota Vikings in 2021

Back in April, Minnesota decided to use a first-round draft pick on an offensive lineman for the second time in the last three years. This time, the Vikings went with former Virginia Tech left tackle Christian Darrisaw.

Since he was drafted, the hope for Darrisaw has been that he would be able to step in and open up the 2021 season as Minnesota’s new starting left tackle. However, that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be happening.

Darrisaw recently underwent minor core muscle surgery to help him heal from an injury that was supposed to be repaired back in January when he went under the knife for his first surgery. The Vikings are now hoping he will be healthy enough to suit up for their regular-season opener, but him beginning the year as the team’s starting left tackle is highly unlikely.

Darrisaw is just one of the multiple uncertainties currently surrounding Minnesota’s offensive line. The rest of the unit isn’t exactly in tip-top shape.

At left guard, the Vikings have someone in Ezra Cleveland who spent his rookie season as a right guard after lining up as an offensive tackle during his entire college career.

Then at center for Minnesota is Garrett Bradbury, the team’s other first-round pick in the last three years, and everyone is still waiting for him to live up to the expectations that came with him being a top draft selection.

At right guard, the Vikings are currently having a competition to figure out who will open the season as their starter between Oli Udoh, another former offensive tackle switching to guard, Dakota Dozier, a turnstile in human form, and Dru Samia, someone who probably wouldn’t be able to start in the non-existent XFL.

Thankfully, Minnesota has at least one bright spot on their offensive line in right tackle Brian O’Neill. But O’Neill is literally the only above-average offensive lineman the Vikings have drafted since 2012 (out of 20 other players).

Every offseason, Vikings fans are optimistic about the team’s offensive line being able to at least take some steps in the right direction. And then during every season, Minnesota’s offensive line winds up playing a significant part in the team failing to reach their potential.

Must Read. 5 most surprising things from Vikings training camp. light

It’s really a neverending cycle and it’s something that likely isn’t going to change until someone else is in charge of building the Vikings’ roster.