5 most disappointing Vikings in the Week 1 loss to the Bengals

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins and Ezra Cleveland – Minnesota Vikings /

Ezra Cleveland – LG

Ezra Cleveland got moved from right guard to the left side this preseason and by all accounts, that transition had gone smoothly. Cleveland appeared to have a solid camp, and we barely heard a peep out of him during the preseason games which is a good sign for an interior blocker, meaning he wasn’t getting flagged for any holding calls or having any false starts.

Cleveland was looked at as one of the stronger parts of the Vikings’ offensive line, but he had a rough game on Sunday. Cleveland struggled in pass protection, getting blown up by Cincinnati’s BJ Hill and Larry Ogunjobi. Cleveland also had problems opening holes in the running game which led to Cook’s miserable 3.1-yard rushing average on the day.

Ezra Cleveland has been given a tough road in the NFL. He was drafted to be the left tackle of the future, then he was moved to right guard, and then bumped over to the left side.

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While we aren’t going to give him a free pass here, perhaps he just needs a few more live reps to get comfortable in his new spot, before taking the next step and becoming a competent left guard in the NFL.