Even With Some Hiccups, Vikings Offseason Was Fruitful
With all the acquisitions the Minnesota Vikings have made, have they still not solved the biggest problem? For years everyone has known that the Vikings’ biggest issue was their offensive line. Although they have addressed that in the draft, could they have addressed it in free agency rather than relying on rookies to solve their issues?
It could well be a case of the Vikings coming out of this offseason as real winning if Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis end up being healthy and productive.
The Minnesota Vikings dedicated all their energy and resources this offseason during free agency to make sure that they have a good defense. They have certainly achieved that. The Vikings have created one of the best if not the best defense in the entire league. Throughout the entire camp, every report that came out including during the joint practices with Denver was about how to dominate the Viking’s defensive line was.
Even without Danielle Hunter on a few occasions, the Viking’s defensive line dominated in every aspect. The 2nd unit on the defensive line also seems to be dominating. So it appears that the Vikings have improved on that side of the ball (couldn’t get any worse). There are still some question marks regarding the secondary although they have also made some plays as well during camp, it has been the big boys up front making all the noise.
Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson are having a day vs. a good #Broncos OL. Weatherly, Wonnum, Watts also making plays. A good sign for the #Vikings DL today, and Hunter isn't even out there. https://t.co/9UzUVnqq5Q
— Vikes (@vikesinsider) August 11, 2021
Cause for Concern?
A little. The reason for this is Christian Darrisaw’s health. He has not been an active participant for the Vikings this offseason. Darrisaw underwent a minor procedure which was said to have gone well, but until we see him healthy and playing meaningful snaps, Vikings fans will remain on edge. There was concern about Wyatt Davis as well because he was not part of the first few days of camp, but a strong showing in the game against Denver would help calm Vikings’ fans.
Christian Darrisaw underwent a minor core-muscle procedure this morning with specialist Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia. The visit was "good news" overall and the hope is Darrisaw is ready Week 1.
— Vikes (@vikesinsider) August 12, 2021
There is no doubt that both Darrisaw and Davis will be instantly impactful if they are healthy and given the opportunity. Offensive linemen are usually very good straight away when they enter the league and don’t need much time to adjust. You just need to look as far back as one year ago when all the offensive linemen selected in the 1st round were day 1 starters and made an immediate impact for their teams. While was not a 1st round pick, he was one of the highest-rated guards in the draft and many experts were extremely shocked to see him fall so low.
Wyatt Davis was a durable and reliable guard for the Buckeyes. He started 24 straight games in his final 3 seasons and earned First-Team All American honors in 2019 and 2020 for his play at right guard. Davis ended his time at Ohio State as a team captain who was the first guard in program history to win the Big 10 Offensive Lineman of the Year Award.
The offensive line doesn’t look as bad anymore with these 2 rookies sliding in to join Brian O’Neil and Ezra Cleveland. The Vikings did acquire Mason Cole in a trade from Arizona earlier on this offseason, another player who can have an impact up front for the Vikings. Mason Cole started at center for the Vikings in their opening preseason game and was the highest-graded offensive player.
So, no, the Vikings have not failed this offseason.
The Vikings did not make the playoffs last season but the way they have maneuvered this offseason, and the additions they have made have put them right into contention in the NFC. The Vikings have addressed their biggest issues on defense and in theory, have done the same on offense also. A healthy Minnesota Vikings will be very difficult to deal with, no matter what team you are.