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The Often Overbearing, But Otherwise Ordinary Offensive Line


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I find its shocking that more people did not expect us to not use the 1st round pick on OL.

Berger retired, lets say we added Daniels at RG ... and Remmers is the RT. Did you improve the OL? One can argue its basically the same compared to last year.

When you add a $28M QB, and you still have pieces on your team that need (and worth) big pay days, you need to figure out where you can be cheap on. We decided to be cheap on "draft resources" dedicated to the OL ... possibility to not having to pay $9M for Waynes, and those funds might be used to help retain the rest of the team (&/or upgrade OL next offseason with a free agent).

Our GM is saying ... Cousins + Cook is going to be our offensive upgrade this off-season, most everything else is going to keeping this defense chugging along (and for the long term).

I'm not surprised, its what I expected/expecting.

 

Edited by CriminalMind
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4 minutes ago, CriminalMind said:

I find its shocking that more people did not expect us to not use the 1st round pick on OL.

Berger retired, lets say we added Daniels at RG ... and Remmers is the RT. Did you improve the OL? One can argue its basically the same compared to last year.

When you add a $28M QB, and you still have pieces on your team that need (and worth) big pay days, you need to figure out where you can be cheap on. We decided to be cheap on "draft resources" dedicated to the OL ... possibility to not having to pay $9M for Waynes, and those funds might be used to help retain the rest of the team (&/or upgrade OL next offseason with a free agent).

I'm not surprised, its what I expected/expecting.

I'm not sure I follow. Adding a first round pick keeps the line the same, what does not adding a first tound pick do?

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11 minutes ago, PrplChilPill said:

I'm not sure I follow. Adding a first round pick keeps the line the same, what does not adding a first tound pick do?

It means we should not expect an improvement to the OL, unless we lucked out with O'Neil.

They choose the other side of the equation... to try and further reduced the amount of points the opposition scores (Richardson + Hughes).

They are banking on the OL being respectful with the Cousins + Cook additions.

Edited by CriminalMind
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Quote from Spielman:

"I know sitting there watching [offensive linemen] peel off at the top of the second round, they were flying off the board quicker than any time I can remember," general manager Rick Spielman said.

Source: http://www.espn.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/26298/post-draft-vikings-still-searching-fifth-starter-on-offensive-line

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16 minutes ago, VikeManDan said:

Quote from Spielman:

"I know sitting there watching [offensive linemen] peel off at the top of the second round, they were flying off the board quicker than any time I can remember," general manager Rick Spielman said.

Source: http://www.espn.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/26298/post-draft-vikings-still-searching-fifth-starter-on-offensive-line

So, basically he played the odds on got burned. 

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It happens; i know it's been beat to death, but if you miss out on offensive line talent early, you've got a better shot of finding a similar talent later at the position than you do at CB.  Might not be a great chance, but it's a better chance.

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9 hours ago, CriminalMind said:

Berger retired, lets say we added Daniels at RG ... and Remmers is the RT. Did you improve the OL? One can argue its basically the same compared to last year.

Partly it's about this year -- they need to replace Berger, who was easily their best OL in 2016 and 2017. Giving Berger's snaps to Hill/O'Neill (Remmers at RG), or to Compton/Isidora/etc (Remmers at RT) is a downgrade from what they had last year. 

The 2017 OL was a relative weakness that was made to look better than it might have otherwise thanks to Keenum's pocket presence. They also had the luxury of a lot of favourable game scripts, often playing with a 2-3 score lead for most of the last 2-3 quarters. When they had to throw to catch up (Steelers game, Panthers game, NFCCG), they couldn't give Keenum enough time. 

The 2018 OL is going to be blocking for a QB with worse pocket awareness and escapability, one who's prone to fumbling. They're likely to have more games where they're trailing and need to catch up, just from random statistical variance and also because they're playing a tough schedule. 

So holding the line (pun) from the 2017 OL is probably going to result in a downgrade in results, and it might lead to even bigger problems (Cousins getting happy feet, or getting hurt). 

In other words, AT MINIMUM they needed to maintain the quality of the 2017 OL, and ideally they should've upgraded it. Drafting a plug and play guard (Ragnow if he'd fallen would've been perfect) would've done that. It was always going to take a fairly high pick to find someone that good, but with better luck on the draft board they might've been able to land someone like Corbett or Price in the late 2nd. It just didn't work out that way.

...

In the bigger picture, the Vikings also need better OL for the long term. They only have 2 long-term pieces, Elflein and Reiff, and neither is all that good (Elflein might be eventually but he was mediocre as a rookie). Remmers won't stick around long at his price if he's already being moved to guard. Easton is OK but he's only a marginal talent and hasn't improved much. 

At some point, if they want to continue to contend, they need to have a couple of OL who are in the discussion for the best players at their position in the league. O'Neill might be that good eventually if he develops to his full potential. But that's a long shot. 

So it would've been great to have an OL who might be not just adequate but likely a superior talent, not just this year but for the long term. 

Edited by Krauser
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4 hours ago, rpmwr19 said:

Isn't Remmers price pretty good for a starting right guard?

Good point. I guess my bias is that tackles make more, but RG and RT are actually pretty similar pay scales.

I'll try to salvage a shred of my original point by saying that we don't know if Remmers is good enough as a guard to pay starter money. His cap numbers at $6.3M, $6.7M and $7.25M in 2019-21, and it would cost only a fraction of that in dead cap hit to release him. So if he isn't clearly better than Isidora or Gossett, they may look to release him and play the younger guy instead. 

It sounds like the coaches think he'll be a good guard, since they were talking about moving him inside even before drafting O'Neill. I sure wouldn't mind Remmers being good enough to be worth that money at RG. 

 

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5 hours ago, Krauser said:

Partly it's about this year -- they need to replace Berger, who was easily their best OL in 2016 and 2017. Giving Berger's snaps to Hill/O'Neill (Remmers at RG), or to Compton/Isidora/etc (Remmers at RT) is a downgrade from what they had last year. 

The 2017 OL was a relative weakness that was made to look better than it might have otherwise thanks to Keenum's pocket presence. They also had the luxury of a lot of favourable game scripts, often playing with a 2-3 score lead for most of the last 2-3 quarters. When they had to throw to catch up (Steelers game, Panthers game, NFCCG), they couldn't give Keenum enough time. 

The 2018 OL is going to be blocking for a QB with worse pocket awareness and escapability, one who's prone to fumbling. They're likely to have more games where they're trailing and need to catch up, just from random statistical variance and also because they're playing a tough schedule. 

So holding the line (pun) from the 2017 OL is probably going to result in a downgrade in results, and it might lead to even bigger problems (Cousins getting happy feet, or getting hurt). 

In other words, AT MINIMUM they needed to maintain the quality of the 2017 OL, and ideally they should've upgraded it. Drafting a plug and play guard (Ragnow if he'd fallen would've been perfect) would've done that. It was always going to take a fairly high pick to find someone that good, but with better luck on the draft board they might've been able to land someone like Corbett or Price in the late 2nd. It just didn't work out that way.

...

In the bigger picture, the Vikings also need better OL for the long term. They only have 2 long-term pieces, Elflein and Reiff, and neither is all that good (Elflein might be eventually but he was mediocre as a rookie). Remmers won't stick around long at his price if he's already being moved to guard. Easton is OK but he's only a marginal talent and hasn't improved much. 

At some point, if they want to continue to contend, they need to have a couple of OL who are in the discussion for the best players at their position in the league. O'Neill might be that good eventually if he develops to his full potential. But that's a long shot. 

So it would've been great to have an OL who might be not just adequate but likely a superior talent, not just this year but for the long term. 

If the Vikes couldn't find a trade down opportunity, how would people feel about taking Corbett or Braden Smith at 30? That seems to be the alternative in terms of finding system fits after Price, Ragnow and Wynn were selected. Or should the Vikes have traded a first and third to move into the top 20? 

the Ravens traded up from 52, they were a potential trade partner but the Vikes would have missed out on the 2nd round OL.

 

Edited by vikingsrule
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It seems they were planning to take Ragnow but he went earlier. I wouldn't have wanted them to trade up in the 1st. 

At 30, Corbett, Daniels if he's a guard (Bears are playing him at guard), Williams if he's a guard (Cowboys are playing him at guard) all were there and would've been good picks. I would've been very happy with Williams, he's excellent. I think Hernandez would've been a great pick -- an instant upgrade on either Easton or Remmers at guard -- but maybe they don't see him as a scheme fit. 

It's not crazy that they didn't take the 5th best guard (counting Nelson, Ragnow, Price and Wynn) instead of the 3rd best CB, but it's maddening that the board fell that way. 

After round 1 went the way it did, I don't hate the way they played day 2. Trading up to the mid-2nd by burning a 2019 pick and only ending up with one OL anyway isn't my idea of good drafting. 

If it were up to me, they take Williams at 30, O'Neill at 62, and add a corner on day 3 (DJ Reed was my favorite) who can compete with Alexander at nickel. 

End up with an OL of something like 

Reiff - Williams - Elflein - Remmers - O'Neill

with Easton and Hill as the main backups. 

That's a line that might be able to win a playoff game on the road. 

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1 hour ago, Krauser said:

It seems they were planning to take Ragnow but he went earlier. I wouldn't have wanted them to trade up in the 1st. 

At 30, Corbett, Daniels if he's a guard (Bears are playing him at guard), Williams if he's a guard (Cowboys are playing him at guard) all were there and would've been good picks. I would've been very happy with Williams, he's excellent. I think Hernandez would've been a great pick -- an instant upgrade on either Easton or Remmers at guard -- but maybe they don't see him as a scheme fit. 

It's not crazy that they didn't take the 5th best guard (counting Nelson, Ragnow, Price and Wynn) instead of the 3rd best CB, but it's maddening that the board fell that way. 

After round 1 went the way it did, I don't hate the way they played day 2. Trading up to the mid-2nd by burning a 2019 pick and only ending up with one OL anyway isn't my idea of good drafting. 

If it were up to me, they take Williams at 30, O'Neill at 62, and add a corner on day 3 (DJ Reed was my favorite) who can compete with Alexander at nickel. 

End up with an OL of something like 

Reiff - Williams - Elflein - Remmers - O'Neill

with Easton and Hill as the main backups. 

That's a line that might be able to win a playoff game on the road. 

Can Reiff-Easton-Elflein-Remmers-O’Neill win a playoff game on the road with Cook heathy and Cousins under center? And DeFilippo calling plays?

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