Zimmer’s change of philosophy on offensive line should bring HUGE dividends
If there’s one thing I’ve talked about more than any other since launching this network back in May of 2015, it’s the offensive line. Well, to be fair, it’s me THEN the offensive line. As the status quo and zeitgeist slowly followed suit, there was some divide amongst those who acknowledged that the offensive line was clearly the Achille’s heel of this team but also said that the Vikings brass had done a lot to fix that issue.
That’s true, in that the Vikings had spent more early (rounds 1, 2, or 3) draft capital on the line than any other team even before the 2021 Draft netted studs like Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis. However, as I mentioned a few times, the issue was that the Vikings were targeting the wrong players.
Those players? As decribed in the above article, were “athletic” at the expense of size, power and the ability to anchor in pass blocking situations.
Well, that changed this weekend as the Vikings spent a first-and-third round pick on what should be the left side of their line for the foreseeable future. In an article by the Star Tribune, Vikings college scouting director Jamaal Stephenson, pointed out an edict from Zimmer from six months ago.
Per the Strib piece:
“There was pretty much a directive from Zim, going into scounting this fall and throughout the season, ‘Let’s get bigger up front'”.
“That was the directive, and we went out, and Wyatt Davis definitely fits that mold. He’s a big man, he’s long. He can play guard, potentially tackle”
The Vikings will clearly rely on Davis as their left tackle to play next to first-round pick Christian Darrisaw. With that, the Vikings will have a line that should finally catapult the offense to an elite level after they’ve flirted with it despite having the 29th-ranked pass blocking offensive line in 2020.
It may have taken a couple of seasons, but Zimmer clearly finally learned that their offensive line philosophy simply wasn’t working. By going for larger, more dominant offensive lineman the offense should be able to continue to run the ball down opposing teams’ throats while also having time to set up deep shots down the field.
That should excite every fan of the purple and give them hope that the Vikings may finally get what they paid for when they brought Kirk Cousins to town in 2018. Cousins is coming off of a great season despite the lack of a clean pocket, and with the additions to the line and the players either added or coming back to the defense? The Vikings have suddenly catapulted themselves back into contention in the NFC.
Thank Odin for that.