PFF Offers Tepid Praise for Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw

Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; General view as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hands the ball to running back Dalvin Cook (33) in the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings LT Christian Darrisaw has been having a good – not great – start to his career in purple. He’s a clear upgrade over Rashod Hill, and yet it’s safe to say that the kid still has room to improve. The hope is that he’ll develop into an elite LT, thereby forming a formidable tackle tandem with Brian O’Neill for years.

PFF has been publishing a weekly piece where they outline their ranking for each first-rounder and then offer a paragraph to explain what they’re seeing. Here is what they have to say about Darrisaw:

Darrisaw endured a tough day in pass protection against the Packers, but he earned some of the loss back with plus play in the run game. He surrendered seven total pressures from 39 pass-blocking snaps, with one of those plays being a sack on Kirk Cousins. In the run game, he was Minnesota’s best-graded blocker with a figure of (84.9) in that area. On the season, Darrisaw has now allowed 13 total pressures and has a 70.6 run-blocking grade.

They suggest that his overall season score is a solid 65.0. His most recent performance was good for a 73.2 grade. The fact that his run blocking is a touch better than his pass pro shouldn’t be surprising. The Vikings routinely prioritize linemen who can thrive in the run game. Moreover, it’s not easy adjusting to the size-length-speed combo of NFL pass rushers. Give him time; he’ll get there.

Moving forward, the hope is that LT Christian Darrisaw will outshine the other players whom the Vikings could have chosen. There were some intriguing edge rushers taken later in the first who could have made a difference in Minnesota. Currently, it looks like the Vikes made the right move. That said, it’s far too early to know whether Slick Rick did the right thing.

On Sunday, Darrisaw will have the unenviable task of trying to slow down Nick Bosa. Like his brothers, Bosa is an absolute nightmare for offenses. The Cousins-Jefferson connection has been heading in the right direction. The most obvious way this could be disrupted is if the OL completely undermines the offense. For whatever it’s worth, Bosa feels like he is figuring out how to be elite in the NFL: “I think I’m starting to get the hang of how to really get sacks, get numbers. My rookie year, I was just out there rushing, trying to win every time. It worked well, but now I’m really getting a hang of how the sack leaders in the league do it.”

Minnesota would be wise to help their tackles on Sunday.