We know that the offensive line for the Minnesota Vikings has been a sore spot for a while, but there has been some improvement to be seen over the past few seasons. As part of the ongoing list-a-mania that we’re seeing around the internet during this dark portion of the offseason, Pro Football Focus has given us reason to be downright optimistic about them going into 2022.
PFF has put out their offensive line rankings for the upcoming season, and the Vikings check in at #20. Now, that might not be classed as a reason for optimism for a lot of fan bases, but for us? We could damn near throw a parade.
Here’s what PFF has to say about the offensive line:
This could sneakily be the best offensive line of quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ Vikings career. Much of that, though, comes down to the development of the team’s 2021 first-round pick, Christian Darrisaw. Darrisaw earned a 71.9 overall grade on 652 snaps last season and got stronger as the campaign wore on.
That an offensive line that is still in the bottom half of the league could potentially already be “the best offensive line of Kirk Cousins’ Vikings career” is pretty damning. And while I agree with them on Christian Darrisaw’s development. . .which I think we’re all going to be quite happy with this season. . .the key is absolutely on the interior, in my opinion.
While Ezra Cleveland has been relatively solid at left guard, at least to the best of my recollection, the other two spots on the interior need to see a vast improvement. We’ve been over Garrett Bradbury’s struggles ad nauseum and he needs a big season in his contract year to solidify his NFL future, whether that future is in Minnesota or somewhere else. At right guard, Oli Udoh was the most penalized player in the league last season and the team has brought in plenty of competition at that spot for this year. PFF is actually projecting rookie Ed Ingram to take over that spot, meaning he’d have to win a competition against Udoh, as well as free agent signings Jesse Davis and Chris Reed.
We’ve often said over the past few years that in order for the Vikings to be dangerous, the offensive line doesn’t have to be great. . .they just have to be not freaking terrible. It appears, at least in the eyes of the folks at Pro Football Focus, that they’re on their way there heading into the 2022 season.