Bleacher Report’s Prediction for Vikings Upcoming RG Battle

More Evidence Vikings and Chiefs Could Trade in NFL Draft
Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs

The Minnesota Vikings will have one of the most plentiful battles in team history at right guard this summer.

Since the end of the 2017 season, the franchise has struggled to lock down the spot, auditioning men like Mike Remmers, Dakota Dozier, Dru Samia, and Oli Udoh with little stability as the outcome. In fairness to a man named Josh Kline, he performed admirably during the 2019 season but opted not to return to the NFL thereafter.

So, while former general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer could not fully remedy the RG position, a new leadership tandem of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell is instituting an RG party to fix the longstanding malady. Indeed, five men could reasonably become the RG1 for the Vikings in September — Jesse Davis, Wyatt Davis, Ed Ingram, Chris Reed, or Oli Udoh.

All of those men are under contract for Minnesota and have ties to the RG position in the past.

On Saturday, Bleacher Report projected every team’s starting lineup and thus had a predictive verdict for the Vikings at right guard. Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report foresees rookie Ed Ingram winning the job, beating out the Davises, Reed, and Udoh.

Mar 4, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Louisiana State offensive lineman Ed Ingram. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Bringing a contentious past to the team with old sexual assault allegations, Adofo-Mensah gambled on a questionable character guy in Round 2 of the draft a couple of weeks ago. All charges were ultimately dropped against Ingram, but this draft pick dismayed many Vikings enthusiasts.

The Vikings were adamant they did diligence on Ingram’s background, and therefore, Ingram should start sooner than later at right guard or center. That’s what 2nd-Round offensive linemen do — start in the NFL. And Moton’s prognosis aligns with Ingram’s draft stock.

Ingram played in 45 games at LSU and was a part of the 2019 team that won a National Championship — with Joe Burrow, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and others. He’s game-ready, and the Vikings illustrated their excitement about him in the team’s recently released draft mini-documentary.

Jan 13, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrates with guard Ed Ingram. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The other theory — not mentioned by Moton — is a shift of Ingram to center if the team becomes disenchanted with incumbent Garrett Bradbury this summer. So far, the Vikings new coaching staff has all positive things to say about the 2019 1st-Rounder, but Bradbury’s pass protection to date in the NFL is undesirable. Conversely, pass-blocking is Ingram’s strength. According to Pro Football Focus, Ingram played 806 offensive snaps in 2021, with 484 pass-blocking plays. He allowed just two sacks on the way to an 82.6 pass-blocking grade.

Ingram arrived the Vikings via trade. Early in the draft, Minnesota traded with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers — sending some fans into a rage — but the fruits of the deals were numerous. The Lions and Packers received Jameson Williams (DET), Josh Paschal (DET), and Christian Watson (GB), while Minnesota ultimately used the trade spoils to draft Lewis Cine (S), Andrew Booth (CB), Ingram, Brian Asamoah (LB), Esezi Otomewo (EDGE), and Ty Chandler (RB).

The Browns, Colts, and Raiders also drafted lower-round picks through eventual trades with the Vikings from the deal.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

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