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Can we Fix our Offensive Offensive Line by staying young and cheap?


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We as fans have been watching terrible interior line play the last couple years. We don't have a lot of faith in our coaching staff to develop young guys but it seems to be the strategy right now for our team. There are a lot of good options in the draft this year, so getting a solid guard or two is far from impossible.

 

I think it's possible to go BPA at 14 and trade up and get somebody great in the early 3rd. or end of the 2nd. I don't think our front office would have treated Riley like this if they didn't think they had options behind him that they watched perform at an equivalent level at tackle.  Guard should be an easy need to fill and I know a lot of our cap space won't come until June where we'll likely sign the last missing few pieces of our team.

What is your guys ideal scenario for fixing the O-line before the season. Do you think we can draft in the 3rd and sign a mid tier free agent or do you think this team requires a big Orlando Brown trade or draft early at 14 the best available possible Franchise LT for the next 10 years and keep Ezra at Guard for now.

I would love us to go BPA at 14. QB, WR, defense whoever is the best. but obviously it can feel as the offensive line is neglected at times and we have a chance to fix our offensive line here at 14 and do it in a way that balances Kirks contracts by having most of the lineman on a rookie contract.

I personally think the Vikings will go BPA at 14 and continue to neglect the line in our eyes. If we get an impactful guard in the draft between pick 14 and 78 and sign or trade for one more guy we won't be in bad shape. Remember we just need some league average guys we don't need the best in the league.

 

So question is what do you think the Vikings will do with the O-line before the season?

and 

What would you do if you were GM to build the best roster but still fix this O-line? Would you risk the draft and cheap guys or do you think we need a big signing or trade?

Is it even possible to fix our line in the draft or do we need a big trade or signing?

 

Edited by HeydudemanG
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1 minute ago, PrplChilPill said:

They've literally never developed a guy not taken in round one or two....... why would we think that can change at this point? 

Not trying isn't going to solve the problem so what are you trying to say we do?

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7 hours ago, HeydudemanG said:

So question is what do you think the Vikings will do with the O-line before the season?

and 

What would you do if you were GM to build the best roster but still fix this O-line? Would you risk the draft and cheap guys or do you think we need a big signing or trade?

Good questions.

To the first one, I assume the Vikings will take an offensive lineman or two at some point in the draft. They'll start Dozier, Cole, Bradbury, Cleveland, and O'Neill. and have a terrible offensive line. They'll try the rookie out at some point and he'll probably not be very good. Rick Spielman has a long history of failure with respect to the offensive line. There is no reason to expect that to change.

To the second question, it is too late to fix the offensive line for this season now. The best I could do is try to patch something together and cross my fingers. If I was the GM the offensive line wouldn't be in such bad shape right now. It would be a much higher priority for me. I would overhaul the scouting department and look at the entire process. There is a systemic problem in how the team is evaluating and developing linemen. I would advise the owner to pay whatever it takes to bring in the best available people to completely overhaul the offensive line evaluation and development system. After getting that systemic problem fixed I would devote serious draft resources and cap room to the offensive line based on the evaluations of the new people.  For development, I wouldn't shy away from having the highest paid offensive line coaching staff in the league. I would target the very best and pay them whatever it takes. Without solving the offensive line problem spending money other places is likely a waste of resources.

 

 

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The Vikings need to add a couple of guys with size and strength. I like getting athletic offensive linemen, but they’ve seemed to sacrifice NFL ready strength for that athleticism. Guys like Jenkins, Leatherwood, Vera-Tucker, Davis, Dickerson, Cleveland, etc should be prioritized. 

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13 hours ago, solidvikingfan said:

Well we need two offensive lineman either a guard and tackle or two guards so what else do we do if you don't want to try in round 3 or 4?

I was responding to a post about passing on OL in round 1.... and 2, given their picks.  You have to start somewhere.....

I'd take multiple OL this year, but that's true every year. You need 6 or 7......

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This is a pretty complete team, outside of the offensive line. We could use another pass rusher, linebacker and safety, but none of those are positions of immediate need. The offensive line is, by far, this team's greatest concern. To that end, I wouldn't have any issue with the team using half of its picks on offensive linemen. Especially in the 1st, 3rd and 4th rounds. It may be a "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" approach, but this team needs to find two quality starters on the line, and the best way to do it is to draft as many linemen as you can who you think can get the job done.

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At some point, the Vikings need to reassess the Zone Blocking Scheme.  It truly has not been all that effective, in my opinion.  Getting guys out of college ready to pass protect out a zbs is a pretty tall order.  A rookie offensive lineman ready to start on day one is hard enough to find in the first round, lower rounds aren't likely to be much better.

If the Vikings trade for Orlando Brown, then in all likelihood, they are jettisoning the zbs.  Which is why I don't think they are really in the market for that trade. 

I suspect that there is very little that this FO or coaching staff can do to make the offensive line play better in 2021.  Even with a first round rooking chosen with #14, I think the line play will likely be worse than improved...but, I suspect that it will be better at the end of the year than at the beginning.  IF the Vikings reach the playoffs with their likely problems along the offensive line, I suspect that they will lose in the wildcard round.  Maybe there's a turnaround in 2022 or 2023.

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11 minutes ago, wcblack34 said:

This is a pretty complete team, outside of the offensive line. We could use another pass rusher, linebacker and safety, but none of those are positions of immediate need. The offensive line is, by far, this team's greatest concern. To that end, I wouldn't have any issue with the team using half of its picks on offensive linemen. Especially in the 1st, 3rd and 4th rounds. It may be a "throw it against the wall and see what sticks" approach, but this team needs to find two quality starters on the line, and the best way to do it is to draft as many linemen as you can who you think can get the job done.

Completely agree. 

They could use some depth/development type players at positions like DB, LB, WR, etc. but those are the players you draft on day three and pick up as I drafted players. 

When I look at this roster, I see 3 spots that don’t have a set starter for the 2021 season. Two spots along the offensive line, and the defensive end opposite Hunter. And when breaking down those spots, the o-line is far and away the greater need. Weatherly is a better option at defensive end than Hill and Cole/Dozier are at their respective positions along the line. 

It’s imperative, strong word but true, that the team lands a top OL in the first round. If it’s a tackle, great, you can leave Cleveland at guard, but they can also draft a guard and kick Cleveland out to tackle. Then they need to find a legit guard prospect who can compete with Cole/Dozier for the other spot along the line. 

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2 hours ago, Virginia Viking said:

At some point, the Vikings need to reassess the Zone Blocking Scheme.  It truly has not been all that effective, in my opinion.  Getting guys out of college ready to pass protect out a zbs is a pretty tall order.  A rookie offensive lineman ready to start on day one is hard enough to find in the first round, lower rounds aren't likely to be much better.

If the Vikings trade for Orlando Brown, then in all likelihood, they are jettisoning the zbs.  Which is why I don't think they are really in the market for that trade. 

I suspect that there is very little that this FO or coaching staff can do to make the offensive line play better in 2021.  Even with a first round rooking chosen with #14, I think the line play will likely be worse than improved...but, I suspect that it will be better at the end of the year than at the beginning.  IF the Vikings reach the playoffs with their likely problems along the offensive line, I suspect that they will lose in the wildcard round.  Maybe there's a turnaround in 2022 or 2023.

It’s been very effective in the ground game, which I think is the more appropriate approach to examining the effectiveness of the ZBS. Pass protection hasn’t really been a tackle issue. Reiff and O’Neill have been fine. It seems the bigger issue has been along the interior so if Mn can grab some stout athletes who can move well, they will be much better off. Frankly, I’m not sure Cleveland, Bradbury or Dozier fit that profile. Cleveland should move to LT and they should find a really good RG who can help Bradbury’s deficiencies in pass protection. 

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It depends on the definition of fix. There is a scenario where the line is middle of the pack next year if

-Cleveland makes the position change and is just replacement level

-Cole starts and is just replacement level

-Interior draft pick starts and is just average (or if somehow Dru makes a giant year 2 jump, but he isn't)

Oneil is good, and Bradbury isn't bad (not good though).

I could also see a scenario that losing Reiff (definition of average tackle) comes back to bite the team if Hill/Ezra don't improve

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I think Rashod Hill is being underrated. I think he will be serviceable if he ends up starting. Key word: serviceable.

1. Hill-Rookie/Cole-Bradbury-Cleveland-O'Neill

2. O'Neill-Rookie/Cole-Bradbury-Cleveland-Hill/Udoh

3. Cleveland-Cole-Bradbury-Rookie-O'Neill

Heading into the draft I definitely prefer option #1. Based on Zimmer's comments Cleveland's position is a fluid situation.

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