Former Vikings O-Lineman Joins a Former Vikings Coach

NFL: New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
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An ex-Vikings o-lineman will be continuing his career in Cleveland. Colby Gossett, who was chosen in the 6th-round of the 2018 NFL Draft, is re-uniting with Kevin Stefanski (a former Vikings coach).

At this stage, Gossett has become a bit of a journeyman. Since failing to catch on with Minnesota, Gossett has been with Arizona, New England, Atlanta, and Cleveland. Still only 27, he’ll be hoping to settle into a single city for a bit longer than normal.

Nov 28, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski looks down the field during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 draft is one that stands out for its notable misses. At 30th overall, Mike Hughes became yet another highly-picked corner for Mike Zimmer to work into his defense. Unfortunately, things didn’t go particularly well for him. Like the o-lineman, Hughes has become a journeyman, most recently signing in Atlanta.

The Daniel Carlson pick would have worked out for Minnesota, but there was some impatience. Carlson is now accomplishing great things in Las Vegas.

Indisputably, the best pick of that draft class was Brian O’Neill, who came to town at the end of the 2nd. He has solidified himself as being among the very best right tackles in the NFL. Hopefully, the big fella can continue progressing in his recovery from his Achilles injury.

RT Brian O'Neill
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Brian O’Neill (75) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Colby Gossett was chosen 213th overall in that same draft. He was moved onto the practice squad but ended up going to Arizona during his rookie season.

At this stage in his career, he’ll probably be relied on as a depth option. However, there have been instances when offensive linemen take longer to develop, eventually carving out meaningful roles in the NFL after several years. One thinks of Joe Berger as someone who played well for Minnesota later on in his career.

Recently, Cleveland has had strong offensive lines, so the expectation is that Gossett will need to earn his spot in the lineup. We also think of Dalvin Tomlinson – a defensive tackle – ending up in Cleveland after signing a large deal with the Browns.

Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles against the Minnesota Vikings defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

In 2018, Kevin Stefanski was employed by the Minnesota Vikings. That was the season when John DeFilippo took over as OC. The team had just brought Kirk Cousins aboard and were a trendy pick to finally snag a Super Bowl (or at least appear in the game). Instead, the team stumbled to an 8-7-1 record, DeFilippo was canned, and Stefanski was elevated to OC toward the end of the season.

After a successful 2019 coordinating Minnesota’s offense, Stefanski took over in Cleveland, where he has been ever since. He’ll now have the opportunity to keep working with Gossett.

The Vikings and Browns don’t play in 2023.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference and Over the Cap helped with this piece. This piece originally appeared on Vikings Territory.