Have the Minnesota Vikings fixed their offensive line issues?

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

The offensive line has been a continuous problem for the Minnesota Vikings. Could things be different for that unit in 2021?

Going into the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings organization and the entire fan base knew exactly what needed to be done.

Since 2017, the Vikings offensive line has ranked in the bottom 10 every year, and it has been a clear weakness, especially in pass protection.

Even though Minnesota didn’t manage to sign one of the marquee free agents on the offensive line this year, there do appear to still be some improvements with the group.

What improvements have been made to the Minnesota Vikings offensive line?

Last season, right tackle Brian O’Neill and rookie guard Ezra Cleveland were two bright spots on a generally terrible offensive line for the Vikings.

O’Neill, who is due for a contract extension sometime in the near future has only allowed four sacks in 2,873 snaps. Cleveland showed a lot of potential last season, particularly towards the end of the season where he ranked 17th among qualifying guards with a PFF grade of 71.0.

Minnesota spent a first and a third-round draft pick earlier this year to try and fix their offensive line. Rookie left tackle Christian Darrisaw, selected by the Vikings in the first round, has hardly had any work this offseason due to injuries, but he appears close to getting back to full health.

A surprise for Minnesota has been tackle turned guard, Oli Udoh who was drafted by the team in the sixth round a year ago. Udoh played at right guard throughout training camp this summer, as well as in preseason games, and he has been quite impressive.

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So even though the Vikings did not make a massive splash in free agency this year, the prospect of Darrisaw joining a young and improving offensive line unit in Minnesota could make for a much-improved offense altogether.