5 most concerning Vikings position groups heading into Week 1

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tyler Conklin
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Tyler Conklin /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) Oli Udoh /

Offensive Line

The Vikings are taking a bit of a gamble with their offensive line. They were clearly opting to go with a youth movement at this position with the addition of Christian Darrisaw as a rookie left tackle, a second-year guard playing a new position in Ezra Cleveland, and then a guy with one career game under his belt at right guard in Oli Udoh.

Minnesota also has a third-year center in Garrett Bradbury, who has been mediocre at best in his tenure with the team so far. The only proven player on the Vikings offensive line is right tackle Brian O’Neill, who has been a stalwart on the right side since entering the NFL back in 2018.

While the youth movement was always a risky proposition, the fact that Minnesota will be without Darrisaw for the game against the Bengals is very troubling.

Rashod Hill steps into the starting left tackle spot and will have to face Cincinnati’s best edge rusher in Trey Hendrickson. This is a major mismatch on paper and one the Vikings will need to be aware of by having a tight end help chip him or put C.J. Ham on the left side of Kirk Cousins as a personal protector.

Minnesota’s offensive line could jell into the best it’s had in recent memory. However, with all the young and inexperienced players on this unit, there will be some growing pains along the way.

Hopefully, they can fend off the Bengals defensive line long enough to give Cousins time in the pocket and open holes in the running game for Dalvin Cook.