One area the Vikings front office could have spent more time on during the offseason was the offensive line. Having players who are just "serviceable" on the line is not going to result in a team winning in the playoffs.
While season ending injuries to center John Sullivan and tackle Phil
Loadholt, were not expected, the team could have tried to sign a couple of
veteran free agents as backups. Instead they have had to rely on a fourth round
draft choice who only played two years in college at offensive tackle in T.J.
Clemmings. They also are relying on a player who never played guard
before in Mike Harris, and journeyman Joe Berger at center. The idea of
moving Brandon Fusco to left guard has not helped, as he has had difficulty
making the switch. Left tackle Matt Kalil, a former first round draft pick, has
been merely average during his four year career.
Unfortunately, putting all of this together has resulted in quarterback
Teddy Bridgewater being unnecessarily pressured and sacked. It's tough
for any quarterback to read defenses and pass the ball accurately, let alone
one who is in only his second year in the NFL.
The Vikings may still make the playoffs at this point, but they probably
won't get very far if they do, primarily because of the below average offensive
line. This offseason they ought to make it a priority, by trying to sign
several of the best available free agents and spending their draft picks in the
first and second rounds on offensive linemen - preferably those who have played
four years at a major college.
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