The much aligned group of individuals needed a makeover. Speilman was able to add a blue chip and a solid, versatile lineman to the group. The 2012 line should look much different. Absent future Hall of Fame guard Steve Hutchinson and his running mate Anthony Herrera the group will showcase some young and largely unproven talent. The rebuilt line should allow for more running room and better protection for the offense.
75 Kalil, Matt OT 6-7 295 22
With the fourth pick of the 2012 draft the Vikings selected Matt Kalil. The expectation for Kalil is to solidify two positions along the offensive line. Viewed as a plug n play cog, Kalil should be a starter from day one. Kalil was blessed extraordinary physical attributes and NFL pedigree. If there is a downside to Khalil’s play it would be his core strength and technique. Those re two relatively correctable flaws especially with an o line coach like Davidson. Kalil will probably become the best left tackle in the division before midseason. If he becomes as advertised the Vikings offense should improve immensely next year.
74 Johnson, Charlie OT 6-4 305 28
Often the scapegoat, Johnson never truly had a chance to succeed at left tackle. Johnson is a better than expected athlete with good run blocking ability. The switch to guard should be able to highlight his strengths and mask some of his deficiencies.
65 Sullivan, John C 6-4 301 26
John Sullivan played his first fully healthy season and it was a good one. The coaching staff rewarded him with a contract extension as a result of his stellar play. Center is the one position without any question marks for the foreseeable future.
76 Schwartz, Geoff G 6-6 331 25
Schwartz came over from the Panthers this off season to add stability to the offensive line that lost two long tenured veterans. Schwartz played well in 2010 but spent his 2011 season on injured reserve. He is expected to compete with Joe Berger and Brandon Fusco for the starting right guard but versatility is his best asset. He has started at guard and tackle in his career. If he can get back to his ore injury form Schwartz could be a pleasant surprise for the team. He is playing under a one year contract so he has to prove that he is healthy.
71 Loadholt, Phil T 6-8 343 26
Loadholt is a former second round pick with tons of potential. He is among the best run blocking tackles in the league and has the natural ability to become a more consistent pass blocker. Blessed with length strength size and light feet, look for him to finally put it all together in a contract year.
73 Love, DeMarcus T 6-4 315 24
Love is a typical tough SEC offensive lineman. While he essentially red shirted his rookie season and logged zero game experience, he coaching staff is very high on him and expect him to take major steps forward. He is listed as a tackle but has also played guard in college. He, in all likelihood will not compete for a starting job but will however be a swing tackle candidate. He is a strong run blocker and has worked hard on his technique.
63 Fusco, Brandon OL 6-4 306 22
Fusco is another second year offensive lineman that the coaching staff believes in. Fusco is a nasty fellow and will block past the whistle. He brings an heir of toughness to the unit and will be in a battle to win the starting RG position along the line. Coming from a small school he has adjusted nicely but will continue to improve. Fusco has center and guard experience which is invaluable. Surprisingly enough when he got into the game last season he did not look lost or out matched. Look for Fusco to challenge for a spot all year.
61 Berger, Joe OL 6-5 315 30
Joe Berger is a versatile veteran lineman that stepped in nicely when called upon last year. He can be a backup at all three interior line positions. At 29 years old he is the oldest of the group and should bring leadership tithe group.
79 Brown, Patrick T 6-5 310 25
Patrick brown was resigned in the off season and has a chance to make the roster. The coaching staff has seen enough from him to give him another shot at the final roster but it will be tough. He is a big athletic lineman that is raw and needs to add strength.
78 Horn, Levi OL 6-6 320 25
Horn is a guy comparable to Brown. Horn was recently signed from the Chicago Bears and will battle for a spot on the Vikings team.
60 Saulsberry, Quentin C 6-2 300 23
Although Saulsberry was an undrafted free agent center, there is something to be said for a four year starter in the SEC. He is not the strongest or most athletic center of the bunch but much of the same was said about Sullivan in his pre-draft analysis. Salisbury is a fearless competitor and will get a good long look and may end up on the practice squad where he could develop his game.
72 DeGeare, Chris G 6-4 325 25
And offensive guard that played sparingly as a rookie but was cut and brought back on the practice squad due to him being out of shape. The lock out really hurt his progression and he will struggle to make the roster after showing promise early. DeGeare has good size and strength but is overall a work in progress with a little bit of an immature side. It will be interesting to see how he shows in training camp.
68 Weems, Darrion OT 6-5 302 23
Weems is tackle from Oregon with average size and below average athleticism. He is probably not more than a practice body but everyone has a shot to prove themselves.
67 Pasztor, Austin OL 6-7 305 21
Pasztor is a colossal guard from a school with great offensive linen pedigree. Pasztor will have to show he belongs early to earn a spot on the practice squad.