It isn’t a stretch to say that the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line performed significantly better in 2017 than they did in 2016. Part of that is due to the fact that it couldn’t possibly have been any worse than it was in 2016, but it looked like the level of play was markedly better over the previous season.
Apparently the folks from Pro Football Focus are in disagreement with that assessment. They have put together their rankings of all of the offensive lines going into the 2018 season, and if you want to see what they have to say about the Vikings, you’re going to have to scroll down a bit.
A little further.
A little more.
There they are, down at #28 out of 32. PFF had the Vikings rated at #22 in their end-of-season rankings, so they apparently still don’t think much of what the Vikings are doing up from.
Here’s what they have to say about the group:
While the Vikings line certainly made strides in 2017, Case Keenum was still the third-most frequently pressured quarterback in the NFL. After investing heavily in it last offseason, their starting five may very well remain status quo heading into 2018. The only likely change is if second-round pick Brian O’Neill can win the starting right tackle job. Based on his 1-on-1 performances at the Senior Bowl though, where he won only 27 percent of his reps, he may not be NFL ready anytime soon.
The configuration that PFF has for the Vikings’ offensive line, along with their 2017 grades from the site, looks like this from left to right:
- Riley Reiff (48.6)
- Nick Easton (41.5)
- Pat Elflein (43.2)
- Mike Remmers (69.6, mostly at right tackle)
- Rashod Hill (43.6)
Honestly, that seems like the most likely starting five for the Vikings on the offensive line if O’Neill isn’t ready for prime time at the start of the season. I know very little about PFF’s grading criteria or anything like that, but those numbers for the Vikings’ 2017 offensive line seem pretty low. Or perhaps I was just so traumatized after watching the 2016 offensive line do their thing that just about anything was going to look spectacular.
Hopefully Tony Sparano can get more out of this offensive line that he apparently got out of them last season, and that John DeFilippo can put together a scheme to mitigate those weaknesses a bit.