How The Minnesota Vikings Built Their Offensive Line

If things proceed as expected, the Minnesota Vikings will have five starters on the offensive line who were all drafted by the team.

Below, you’ll find a chart that lists the projected five starters alongside some info for when they were chosen in the draft.

Darrisaw, ChristianLTRD1, Pick 23 (2021)
Cleveland, EzraLGRD2, Pick 58 (2020)
Bradbury, GarrettCRD1, Pick 18 (2019)
Ingram, Ed RGRD2, Pick 59 (2022)
O’Neill, BrianRTRD2, Pick 62 (2018)
Shout out to PFR for helping me remember a few of the small details.

As the chart demonstrates, the Minnesota Vikings have made a concerted effort to spend high draft picks on the offensive line. In a few years, they were able to put together an entire starting five made up of exclusively their own picks.

Now, we should remember that drafting one’s own o-line isn’t the ultimate goal. Rather, the goal is to build a strong front five, a group that allows the offense to stay true to its offensive identity.

If that means quite a bit running, play-action passes, and intermediate crossing routes, then the OL needs to be capable of pulling off the blocks to make that happen. Whether the players come as draft picks, free agents, or in trades, the ultimate goal is to put together a group that allows the team to fulfill its vision for the offense.

If things go well, then the Vikings OL can achieve the goal of actualizing the coach’s vision for the offense.

The tackle tandem will likely be strong, and there is a lot of optimism surrounding the two guards. The team has a lot of depth at center, so the iOL has potential. Whoever is snapping the ball will need to keep proving that he’s better than at least two or three other players.

It’s also notable that several of the depth offensive linemen have also been drafted by Minnesota. Vederian Lowe, Blake Brandel, and Oli Udoh are all late-round picks from recent Vikings drafts. Austin Schlottmann and Chris Reed are the only two on the roster to have begun their NFL careers elsewhere.

In recent years, the Minnesota Vikings offensive line has received a lot of criticism. O’Connell’s presence signals a fresh start, though. A strong opening week performance against a talented GB defense will be enough to convince a lot of fans that we may witness an improved o-line in 2022.