Vikings Reportedly Explore Former 1st-Round FA Offensive Lineman
To date in 2022 free agency, the Minnesota Vikings signed a defensive tackle (Harrison Phillips), linebacker (Jordan Hicks), tight end (Johnny Mundt), offensive lineman (Austin Schlottmann), and a headlining-act EDGE rusher (Za’Darius Smith). Now, the team is reportedly exploring a former 1st-Round guard-tackle, Ereck Flowers.
The new leadership’s contentment with the current offensive line group is unclear. Currently, the Vikings employ, from left-to-right, Christian Darrisaw (LT), Ezra Cleveland (LG), Garrett Bradbury (C), Oli Udoh or Wyatt Davis (right guard), and Brian O’Neill (RT), Sans Davis, that group was intact for most of the 2021 season and struggled to protect quarterback Kirk Cousins.
An upgrade may be necessary, and Flowers would presumably fill the right guard responsibility. Flowers played tackle in 2021 but was a guard in 2019 and 2020. He’s relatively versatile.
A former 1st-Round draft selection chosen by the New York Giants with the 9th overall pick in 2015, Flowers has bounced around the league frequently by age 27. So far, he’s played for the Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Commanders, Miami Dolphins, and Commanders again in 2021.
While Flowers would not be a homerun signing like Za’Darius Smith on Tuesday, his candidacy at right guard is more exciting than incumbent Oli Udoh.
Flowers attended the Unversity of Miami, a school the Vikings have successfully tapped before. Long-time left tackle from the 2000s, Bryant McKinnie, is a Hurricane. So is current WR3 K.J. Osborn. Forty years ago, Minnesota found Chuck Foreman in the draft from Miami.
Here’s the Pro Football Focus history from Flowers:
- 2015 = 54.9
- 2016 = 69.7
- 2017 = 66.8
- 2018 = 64.4
- 2019 = 64.1
- 2020 = 65.9
- 2021 = 72.0
VikeFans on Twitter reported the interest in Flowers by the Vikings.
The Vikings must now find cap space to potentially land Flowers, although his services shouldn’t be too expensive.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. His YouTube Channel, VikesNow, debuts in March 2022. 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).