Breathe deeply, Vikings fans; Rick Spielman is finally investing in the offensive line in the draft. After grabbing versatile guard/center Pat Elflein in the third round, Minnesota again went to the trenches and selected Miami guard Danny Isidora in the fifth.
Zimmer has said Elflein will start out as a center, so between he, Joe Berger, and now Isidora, the interior of the Vikings offensive line looks drastically better than it did last season. Jeremiah Sirles also figures to be in the mix.
Here’s what folks around the web are saying about the Vikings’ (second) fifth round pick:
“Isidora started every game the past three seasons and is a competitor who has potential to possibly earn starts as a rookie with the Vikings.
Pro Football Focus
“Danny Isidora was the No. 5 guard on PFF’s draft board. Isidora’s third-down pass-blocking efficiency rating of 99.4 ranks second among all guards in the class.”
“For all their talk about needing to target offensive linemen in the draft, the Vikings had taken only one in the first five rounds (third-round center Pat Elflein). They added another one with their final fifth-round pick in Isidora, who played right guard for Miami last year. It’s difficult to expect a fifth-round pick to step in and compete on the offensive line right away, but Isidora is a powerful guard with good agility who might be able to develop in the NFL.”
“Minnesota has lacked an effective pull blocker for some time and Isidora can be that guy. It doesn’t appear as if he will compete for a starting job right away, but he will be in line to compete for a role when Joe Berger calls it quits.
Pat Shurmur’s West Coast offense is largely a passing offense. But the Vikings are also making an effort to bring the rushing attack back that was absent last season, and getting creative with pull blocks is one way to get that done.”