Offensive Linemen The Vikings Should Draft

April 12, 2022
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The Vikings have four returning players penciled in to start on the Offensive Line: Christian Darrisaw (Left Tackle), Ezra Cleveland (Left Guard), Garrett Bradbury (Center), and Brian O’Neill (Right Tackle). There are also multiple other players on that unit with a chance at winning the starting Right Guard spot. But are there offensive linemen the Vikings should draft?

It is difficult to deduce how high the front office and coaching staff are on guys like Chris Reed and Jesse Davis whom they signed this offseason, or returning candidates Oli Udoh and Wyatt Davis. That being said, the Vikings have more pressing needs to address in the first round and most of us are more familiar with the top prospects anyway. Let’s take a brief look at some Day Two and Three prospects that could add some competition to this O-Line group. Projections are based on The Draft Network’s Big Board.

Offensive Linemen The Vikings Should Draft

Dylan Parham, G, Memphis: 6’3” 313lbs

Parham is a guy who I’ve seen in a lot of Vikings mock drafts at Pick 77 and he may be gone well before that. It is safe to say he has a lot of room to grow as a blocker as he did not play offensive line until college. A tight end and linebacker in high school, Parham’s athleticism definitely shows up on tape. He is a bit lean for those same reasons and often needs to win with footwork and positioning, especially in the run game. Parham would be an excellent developmental lineman to select as he played at 3 positions (RT, RG, LG) at Memphis over 4 seasons as a starter.

TDN Rank: #54

Tyler Smith, T/G, Tulsa: 6’5” 324lbs

Tyler Smith is a nasty blocker who wants to dominate the point of attack and play all the way to the whistle, often finishing blocks when he has the advantage. I mentioned that Parham may not be available at Pick 77, but Tulsa tackle may not even be available at 46. There has been some first-round hype surrounding Smith and for the Vikings in particular, it would not be prudent to reach on a player whom they plan to move to Guard. However, if more picks are acquired in a trade back or he begins to slip through the second round Tyler Smith could be a valuable selection.

TDN Rank: #59

Darrian Kinnard, T/G, Kentucky: 6’5” 322

Kinnard is another prospect whose projection at Guard is just that – a projection. Kinnard only played Right Tackle at Kentucky but he is another player who, if he falls, may be worth it for a team like Minnesota to select and move to Guard. An absolute mauler in the run game, Kinnard could have his skillset maximized at guard where the spaces are more confined. He did mostly hold his against SEC edge rushers in his time at Kentucky and could also serviceably fill in at Right tackle at the NFL level.

TDN Rank: #88

Ed Ingram, G, LSU: 6’3” 307lbs

Ingram has plenty of experience, making his first start at LSU in 2017. He is very sturdy against the interior pass rush and uses great leverage in the run. He does well picking up twists and stunts, using his quickness and recoverability from the guard position. The skills he has developed in LSU’s zone-blocking scheme will immediately translate to the McVay-esque offense that Kevin O’Connell plans to implement; and, the former Tiger would get to stay in Purple and Gold.

TDN Rank: #74

Day Three (Round 4-7 Projection)

Ben Brown, G/C, Ole Miss: 6’5” 315lbs

Ben Brown’s father, both grandfathers, two uncles and a 2nd cousin of his all played football at Ole Miss. He’s a football player. Not an elite athlete by any stretch, Brown uses his broad frame, solid length, and play strength to win on the interior. He is a player who can tend to lumber, often beaten by twists. The Vicksburg, Mississippi native started 12 games at right guard in 2019 and 12 games at Center in 2020 before finishing his collegiate career at guard. This is another who could provide backup potential at multiple positions; with some upside.

TDN Rank: #253

Cade Mays, OL, Tennessee: 6’5” 311lbs

Mays projects as an ideal sixth offensive lineman, declaring for the Draft with experience at all five offensive line positions at Tennessee and Georgia (transferred to Tennessee after sophomore season). Though many project him to play on the interior at the NFL level, Mays was a second-team All-SEC selection at Right Tackle in 2021 and could likely provide some snaps there if need be.

TDN Rank: #181

Cam Jurgens, C, Nebraska: 6’3” 303

More of a true center prospect, Jurgens’ value simply would not be maximized elsewhere on the line as he made the calls upfront for 3 seasons on the Husker O-line. Of the Bradbury ilk, Jurgens would provide borderline elite quickness and agility for his size and be a big help in the screen game as well as wide zone runs. He is liable to be pushed around by larger defensive tackles which may turn some Vikings fans off who are looking for more of a mauler at the center spot.

TDN Rank: #155

Dohnovan West, C/G, Arizona State: 6’3” 296lbs

Another undersized interior lineman, West is another prospect who could provide some value in a zone-blocking scheme. Unlike Jurgens, West does not have great athleticism to make up for being undersized but would provide a bit more positional versatility.

TDN Rank: # 139

These are all players that I feel could make the team if drafted and competition breeds excellence. Solid depth will give the coaching staff the opportunity to make players earn their starting roles.