Will Christian Darrisaw be the Vikings left tackle for years to come?

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Christian Darrisaw
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Christian Darrisaw /

After his first season with the Minnesota Vikings, what are the chances of Christian Darrisaw developing into a franchise left tackle?

It was a very disappointing 2021 season for the Minnesota Vikings as they missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

The Vikings’ lack of success in 2021 ultimately led to the firings of head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman shortly after their final game of the regular season.

There were very few positives in 2021 for the purple and gold. However, one positive for Minnesota was the play of first-round draft choice Christian Darrisaw.

Christian Darrisaw could be the starting left tackle for the Minnesota Vikings for years to come

In 2002, the Vikings drafted Bryant McKinnie seventh overall out of the University of Miami, and he became the team’s starting left tackle for nine consecutive years.

McKinnie did not quite live up to expectations, but he was still serviceable. Since then Minnesota has not had much success at finding someone to watch their quarterback’s blindside.

Matt Kalil was drafted by the Vikings with the fourth overall pick out of USC in 2012. After a promising rookie season, he was never the same, but part of it was due to injuries.

Riley Reiff did well overall as Minnesota’s starting left tackle from 2017 to 2020. But he was released last offseason due to his high salary cap number.

The Vikings drafted Darrisaw with their first-round pick in 2021, and although he missed the first four games of his rookie season due to a groin injury, he played well during the rest of the campaign, and he showed plenty of promise. Pro Football Focus gave him a 71.8 grade for his performance during the 2021 season (36th out of 84 qualifying tackles).

Darrisaw appeared in 12 games total in 2021 with Minnesota, starting in 10 of them. Only time will tell, but there is one rather large question that remains after his first year in the NFL.

Can he be the Vikings’ starting left tackle for at least the next eight seasons? If Darrisaw keeps improving and stays healthy, he very well could be.

Currently, we do not know what Minnesota’s future at quarterback is. Will Kirk Cousins be back in 2022? If so, for how much longer?

One thing is for certain, quarterbacks can always use great protection, especially for their blindside (it would be different, of course, if Minnesota ever has a lefty for a passer).

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After one year though, Darrisaw has shown that he could perhaps be the team’s long-term solution at left tackle. He is off to a nice start and Vikings fans are keeping their fingers crossed.