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The Often Overbearing, But Otherwise Ordinary Offensive Line

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2 minutes ago, Krauser said:

Slauson will be 33 in February and hasn't been a starter since 2016. He's not much better than Compton.

Foster will be 33 in January. He's a very good guard but I can't see the Vikings offering him a long-term contract at that age.

I probably should have clarified. The guards I picked would not be signed as long-term guards. These are guys to hold the position while the team finds longer term pieces. That is why I would be looking to draft a guard still. The team has an immediate need at that position as well as a need for the future.

As far as LT, we have a difference in philosophy. It is not at all, however, "crazy" to draft a LT of the future this year if one is available. The team would see nice cap savings and likely trade value is they moved on from Reiff after this year. That only matters if there is a option available high in the draft and that option looks good enough after a year to take the job. There is a very good chance nobody that fits the description is available and an additional chance that the player will not end up being better than Reiff and never take his porition. Nobody can project players with 100% accuracy even when you only consider guys that end up being taken in the first round. That is why it is important to be looking now rather than in two years when Reiff's contract runs out. Waiting until the need is immediate is how a team ends up in a position to need to sign guys like Slausen and Foster. My issue with Reiff at LT isn't related to his age. It is related to him not being a better player. Reiff is a very competent LT but the team would be a lot better with a top 10 LT. It is not a position that the team should be ruling out drafting in the first round.

 

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I don't believe any OL position should be ruled out if we're going to go through a true rebuild with new OL coaches.

I think O'Neill's job is safe given his age and he's on a rookie contract. 

Elflein took a big step backwards in year two, I could see him losing his job if the Vikes implement more of a power scheme under the new offensive system. Otherwise, he's likely given the benefit of the doubt.

 

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24 minutes ago, Virginia Viking said:

Compton looks like he's confused in pass protection, and in the running game he's not very good blocking in space past the line of scrimmage.

PFF only grades on what a player is asked to do. How good they do at that is debatable too but with a player like Compton the grade can look better because he is so limited the team doesn't expect him to do a lot. Compton is a very limited guard. He is competent at some things. To me, pass protection is one of those things. I have seen him look confused a few times but that will happen to a new guy on a team; I believe is an issue of chemistry with his linemates and/or line calls.

What you touched on second is a big limitation with Compton IMO. He looks pretty terrible blocking in space. If the team decides it wants a line that can move, block at the second level, execute in the screen game, pull, and such they should not be looking at Compton as a starter next year. It looks like the team doesn't even hope very hard for Compton to do much. It is smart of them too because his PFF grade would likely be a lot worse if they were hoping for something that Compton is not. He grades out decently being asked to pass protect the guy in front of him. If that is all you ever want maybe he would be decent enough. The team needs to decide what kind of identity they want. Someone that offers more power and versatility would be a huge help.

Edited by Cearbhall

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6 minutes ago, Cearbhall said:

I probably should have clarified. The guards I picked would not be signed as long-term guards. These are guys to hold the position while the team finds longer term pieces. That is why I would be looking to draft a guard still. The team has an immediate need at that position as well as a need for the future.

As far as LT, we have a difference in philosophy. It is not at all, however, "crazy" to draft a LT of the future this year if one is available. The team would see nice cap savings and likely trade value is they moved on from Reiff after this year. That only matters if there is a option available high in the draft and that option looks good enough after a year to take the job. There is a very good chance nobody that fits the description is available and an additional chance that the player will not end up being better than Reiff and never take his porition. Nobody can project players with 100% accuracy even when you only consider guys that end up being taken in the first round. That is why it is important to be looking now rather than in two years when Reiff's contract runs out. Waiting until the need is immediate is how a team ends up in a position to need to sign guys like Slausen and Foster. My issue with Reiff at LT isn't related to his age. It is related to him not being a better player. Reiff is a very competent LT but the team would be a lot better with a top 10 LT. It is not a position that the team should be ruling out drafting in the first round.

 

If you have a chance to draft a top 10 LT with the Vikings pick toward the end of round 1, sure. But that's not a realistic expectation for a pick that high, and they do have other needs for that pick (replacing Barr and/or Richardson if they leave, finding a difference maker at TE, drafting a starting RG). 

My comment about Reiff's age wasn't in reply to you.

Foster isn't going to sign a one year stopgap deal when he's a top 10 starter in the league. Only way to attract that kind of player is to pay a premium salary and offer term. 

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No offense, but I'm not impressed with the eye test of some guys on a message board vs PFF systemically grading every player on every play with multiple observers. 

Compton has allowed a couple of quick sacks by missing a couple of blocks (Buckner in the first game, Donald in the Rams game, off the top of my head). Those mistakes tend to stick in the memory, and can have an undue influence on our appreciation of the rest of his season. 

The expectation coming into the year was that the Vikings OL would struggle and Compton would be the culprit. The OL has struggled, and Vikings fans have been complaining about Compton all year. But the fact is that Elflein has been the weak spot. Compton has actually been pretty good. 

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3 minutes ago, Krauser said:

If you have a chance to draft a top 10 LT with the Vikings pick toward the end of round 1, sure. But that's not a realistic expectation for a pick that high

Ryan Ramczyk says hello

I agree that it isn't super likely but you can't give up that easily. You have to at least be open to the possibility if you want to ever benefit from it happening.

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10 minutes ago, Cearbhall said:

Ryan Ramczyk says hello

I agree that it isn't super likely but you can't give up that easily. You have to at least be open to the possibility if you want to ever benefit from it happening.

I say it isn't a realistic expectation, you say it isn't super likely. 

Obviously if you have a very high grade on a tackle that falls to your pick, you take him. BPA is always a good strategy (though I'll point out that same strategy is why they drafted Hughes this year, triggering so much criticism about "neglecting the OL"). 

It doesn't matter if I'm open to the possibility or giving up on something, I'm not making any decisions on draft day. I'm just trying to imagine what Spielman will want to do. 

I don't think finding Reiff's replacement will be on Spielman's top 10 list of priorities for this offseason, assuming he finishes the year healthy. He's a good LT, he's not overpaid, and he just turned 30. 

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48 minutes ago, Cearbhall said:

Ryan Ramczyk says hello

I agree that it isn't super likely but you can't give up that easily. You have to at least be open to the possibility if you want to ever benefit from it happening.

Man, I wish we had Ramczyk! 

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52 minutes ago, Krauser said:

No offense, but I'm not impressed with the eye test of some guys on a message board vs PFF systemically grading every player on every play with multiple observers. 

 

I am a believer of what Benjamin Disraeli said about lies, that was picked up by Mark Twain.  "There are three kinds of lies...lies, damned lies, and statistics!" :D 

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1 hour ago, Krauser said:

I say it isn't a realistic expectation, you say it isn't super likely. 

Obviously if you have a very high grade on a tackle that falls to your pick, you take him. BPA is always a good strategy (though I'll point out that same strategy is why they drafted Hughes this year, triggering so much criticism about "neglecting the OL").

Saying it isn't a realistic expectation and saying it isn't super likely isn't all that different. I have no objection to saying it isn't a realistic expectation. I agree with that. However, what I was reacting to was you saying: "It would be crazy to draft a LT in the first or second round with Reiff signed for 3 more years"

Now that you have come around to agreeing with me that it isn't crazy the discussion is entirely different. Your opinions on how to address the offensive line are reasonable and very well may be a better direction that what I would do. As you alluded to, it isn't any of us making the decisions anyway. At least both of us put an opinion out there and defended it with a reasonable argument. Now when we complain about the results later (and I am sure that I will) we can point back at what we said today when a complainypants calls what we would have done "hindsight".

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1 hour ago, Virginia Viking said:

Man, I wish we had Ramczyk! 

Good thing we got Bradford out of that draft though.

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14 minutes ago, vikingsrule said:

Good thing we got Bradford out of that draft though.

Without Bradford I doubt anyone would have been pushing too hard for an OT. We would have been looking at the QBs.

Seriously though, rank OTs by whatever means you find agreeable. Now list where each of those were drafted. Even if not Ramczyk, you will see that it is not only possible to find LTs outside the top 15 picks in a draft but actually a decent percentage of your list will be outside that range. We could just as easily be talking about Andrew Whitworth, David Bakhtiari, Terron Armstead, Joe Staley, or Alejandro Villaneuva.

Sure, there are guys like Tyron Smith or Trent Williams.  It is true that the top half of the first round is a good place to find top LTs. One can't write off from the start the possibility of finding them anywhere else either though. It would be shocking if the Vikings weren't open to the possibility and already written it off as crazy. That was my point when I mentioned the young tackle that plays for the Saints.

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