Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The 2017 Minnesota Vikings Offensive Line

After toying with many different combinations throughout the preseason, the Vikings offensive line starters have finally been settled — at least for now.

The revamped group features new starters across the board, a new blocking scheme, and some rookie talent to develop.

New Starters
  • Left tackle Riley Reiff, a former Iowa Hawkeye, was brought in via free agency and previously played in Detroit.
  • Left guard Nick Easton (and a 6th-round pick) was acquired in a 2015 trade with San Francisco for former Vikings linebacker Gerald Hodges. This will be Easton’s first season taking snaps at the position.
  • Center Pat Elflein is a standout rookie from THE Ohio State University. The Vikings traded up in the draft to select Elflein in the third round. To give you an idea of his potential; the Vikings haven’t started a rookie at center in the regular-season opener since Mick Tinglehoff in 1962. Tinglehoff went on to play 240 straight games and is now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
  • Right guard Joe Berger, the one holdover from last year, has moved from center to right guard. According to Pro Football Focus he was the Vikings’ highest-rated offensive lineman last season.
  • Right tackle Mike Remmers, like Reiff, was also acquired via free agency this offseason. He formerly played for the Carolina Panthers. He’s making his second stint with the Vikings.
New Scheme

Under offensive coordinator Norv Turner, the unit ran a power blocking-scheme. That has now changed. New offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and offensive line coach Tony Sparano have implemented a West Coast style zone-blocking scheme, which better fits the team’s personnel.

New Talent

Rookie linemen Aviante Collins and Danny Isidora, along with Pat Elflein, are now the future of the offensive line. While Elflein will get an opportunity to start immediately, Collins and Isidora will have a chance to develop their skills provided the starters remain healthy.

Collins, an offensive tackle, was picked up by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of TCU. Danny Isidora, a right guard, was selected by the Vikings in the fifth-round of the draft. He played his college ball at Miami (FL). Each player beat out multiple competitors to earn a spot on the roster.

New Results?

Upgrading the players and scheme will certainly seem like failed ventures if the unit can’t produce better results in 2017. The Vikings are hoping that with all the major changes to the offensive line, the group will be more effective and improve as the season goes on.

Up to this point, the five players have not played one snap together. The offensive line will get its first regular season test against the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football.

Left TackleLeft GuardCenterRight GuardRight Tackle
Riley Reiff (#71):
Age: 28
Height: 6-6
Weight: 305 lbs.
EXP: 6
Nick Easton (#62):
Age: 25
Height: 6-3
Weight: 303 lbs.
EXP: 3
Pat Elflein (#65):
Age: 23
Height: 6-3
Weight: 303 lbs.
EXP: 0
Joe Berger (#61):
Age 35
Height: 6-5
Weight: 305 lbs.
EXP: 13
Mike Remmers (#74):
Age: 28
Height: 6-5
Weight: 310 lbs.
EXP: 5
T Rashod Hill (#69):
Age: 25
Height: 6-6
Weight: 309 lbs.
EXP: 2
G/T Jeremiah Sirles (#75):
Age: 26
Height: 6-6
Weight: 315 lbs.
EXP: 4
G Danny Isidora (#63):
Age: 23
Height: 6-3
Weight: 306 lbs.
EXP: 0
T Aviane Collins (#76):
Age: 24
Height: 6-6
Weight: 295 lbs.
EXP: 0

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