By this time next week, the NFL will be well into free agency, and Minnesota Vikings fans are likely going to be really angry that the team hasn’t signed anyone yet.
There are plenty of names out there for the purple to potentially look at, but over behind the great E$PN paywall, the folks from Pro Football Focus have named a free agent that’s a “must sign” for each NFL team, and the guy they’ve picked for the Vikings would make a pretty significant impact.
PFF’s pick for the Vikings is center Mitch Morse. Morse was the Chiefs’ second-round pick (49th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft out of Missouri. He’s started 49 games for the Chiefs in those four years, but has dealt with some injury issues over the past two seasons.
Here’s what the article has to say about Morse and his fit with the Vikings:
The current holder of the longest streak without giving up a sack at the center position, Morse is a dominant pass-blocker and would anchor a Vikings offensive line that lacks strong pass-protecting linemen. Current Minnesota center Pat Elflein gave up 33 total QB pressures a season ago, which happened to be the third most at the position. In fact, Morse gave up only four total pressures in 2018, and Elflein gave up four sacks.
As we’ve discussed with a lot of the other moves that the Vikings could make on the offensive line, this one would involve moving someone to a different position. In this instance, it would be Elflein that would end up having to move to one of the guard spots, which could still potentially leave another guard spot open for a draft pick or another free agent (or maybe, I don’t know, Nick Easton).
This quick blurb from PFF suggests that Morse’s strength is definitely in pass protection.
Kansas City Chiefs’ Mitch Morse is a high-floor pass blocker but lacks high-end run-blocking ability. He’s earned 70.0-plus pass-blocking grades all four years of his career but has failed to finish above 70.0 in run-blocking grade in any of the four years.
I’m not sure how he’d fit into the new zone scheme that the Vikings are wanting to implement, but the pass blocking alone would be a huge boon to this offense, I think.
I’m sure that Morse will have plenty of suitors when free agency starts. We’ll just have to see if the Vikings take a run at him.