The other day, we talked briefly about a story that projects one of the Minnesota Vikings’ two sixth-round picks to be an early contributor to his new team. Now, another leading NFL analyst believes that the Vikings’ other sixth-round selection could end up making a name for himself early on as well.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com has a list of seven late round selections that he thinks will have an immediate impact on their new clubs, and one of the players he lists is new Vikings’ offensive lineman Colby Gossett, who the Vikings took out of Appalachian State in the sixth round.
Gossett offers a better combination of size and strength than most of the guards on the Vikings’ roster and he showed at Reese’s Senior Bowl practices in January that he might be able to acclimate to the jump in competition faster than expected. I expect Gossett to quickly move up the depth chart in camp and become a starter, perhaps as early as this season.
With all due respect to defensive lineman Ade Aruna (who is the subject of the story we linked above), of the Vikings’ two sixth-round picks, I would probably say that Gossett has a significantly better chance to contribute early on. The Vikings’ defensive line is pretty well loaded, while the offensive line situation has much greater potential for someone to step in and take a spot.
The battle for the right guard spot is probably going to be the most intriguing one of camp (assuming that Nick Easton reclaims his job as the starter at left guard). Matthew Coller of 1500 ESPN (where I got the link to the Zierlein story in the first place) points out all the names, including Gossett, Danny Isidora (last year’s fifth-round pick), and Tom Compton. The battle could even include Mike Remmers if the team decides that they can go with either second-round pick Brian O’Neill or Rashod Hill at right tackle and they’re that determined to kick Remmers inside permanently.
Of course, Remmers started at left guard last year following Easton’s injury (since Joe Berger was entrenched at right guard), and if the Vikings decide they want to put Remmers next to Riley Reiff again, then that would put Easton’s name in the mix for the right guard spot, too.
For the second year in a row, it appears that the offensive line battles are going to be the ones to watch in Training Camp. Whether or not Colby Gossett asserts himself as a major player in that battle remains to be seen, but at least one prominent NFL mind seems to think he’s got a shot to be a starter for the Vikings sooner rather than later.