Over the past couple of seasons, the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line has been known as a pretty good run-blocking unit. Against the pass? Ehhhhhhhhh. . .not so good. According to at least one set of analytics, it seems that we should expect more of the same this year.
Behind the great E$PN paywall, Seth Walder of ESPN Analytics has ranked all of the offensive lines for this season in terms of their projected pass block and run block win rates. The Vikings check in at #22 overall, but with a pretty significant split: They’re projected to finish #7 in run block win rate while finishing #31 in pass block win rate.
Here’s what they say about the Vikings’ o-line, which currently has Jessie Davis projected to start at right guard along with the four starters we already know:
(Ezra) Cleveland is the wild split player on this line, as he finished fifth best in run block win rate among guards but third worst in pass block win rate. And (Christian) Darrisaw’s career got off to a rocky start, as the rookie posted the second-worst pass block win rate among all tackles in 2021.
With the way Mike Zimmer wanted his coordinators to run the offense, run blocking was pretty heavily emphasized over pass blocking, and I think we all understand that. Will the new scheme change that? I’m guessing that it will since the offense appears to be much more pass-heavy than what we’ve seen over the past couple of years.
I think that Darrisaw is also going to be significantly better than this ranking seems to suggest. He missed a lot of games early on because of his abdominal injury issues but I thought he really started playing well towards the end of the year. Now that he’s had a fully-healthy offseason to get prepared for things, I think we’re going to see him continue to grow and develop into a quality left tackle. Those are my thoughts, anyway.
I also think that Ed Ingram is going to end up as the Week 1 starter at right guard, but I’ve been wrong about that sort of thing before so who knows?
Do you think the Vikings’ offensive line is going to be better than what these numbers suggest, folks?