While the Minnesota Vikings spent their second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Pitt offensive tackle Brian O’Neill, nobody is sure whether or not he’s going to be the answer at right tackle this season or not. If he’s not, the man that could very easily start there this season could be the one that finished there last season.
According to Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Rashod Hill has dropped 12 pounds since last season, and is looking to be in much better shape this season after he admitted experiencing fatigue towards the end of last year.
“I lost a little weight from last year, just so I could move better,” Hill said. “I felt last year some fatigue in the fourth quarter. The Philly game and Saints game showed me a lot about fatigue in the fourth quarter. It’s all about being in shape. That’s the way I look at it.”
Hill saw extensive action in the final game of 2016, his rookie season, after being signed off of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad, and the expectations for him were pretty high going into 2017. He was expected to provide depth at tackle behind the newly-signed Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers, but wound up starting several games at right tackle when Remmers was out with a concussion and a lower back injury. He also started the team’s last three games (the regular season finale and both playoff games) at right tackle when Nick Easton’s broken ankle caused the Vikings to move Remmers inside to Easton’s spot at left guard.
Some of the changes that Hill has made is that he’s no longer eating after 7:30 PM, and he’s no longer going to Capital Grille (where the Vikings courted quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason), because the steaks and “that lobster mac and cheese” were contributing to his issues.
While Hill has shown the capability to provide solid performance in the past, it would obviously be much better for the Vikings if he could be more consistent, particularly if he does end up holding off O’Neill for the starting right tackle position. Like so many players during the offseason, it sounds like he’s taking all of the necessary steps to make sure he’s put himself in the best possible position heading into Training Camp.