The future of the Vikings, part 1: The quarterbacks

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Mothman
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Re: The future of the Vikings, part 1: The quarterbacks

Post by Mothman » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:42 am

808vikingsfan wrote:How can you accurately grade each linemen since they were either playing out of position, or the player adjacent was always someone different? I think even TJ wouldn't look at bad if he had a second year on the right side instead of being thrown on the left.
Clemmings might have been better if he'd stayed on the right but he was awful on the right and I think they need a lot more from a starting tackle than not being as bad as he was in 2015.

Regarding grading: I understand the point you're making about continuity but last season didn't occur in a bubble. The intended starters all have previous history in the NFL which we can consider and even without the benefit of the same 5 players performing next to each other all season, we can still see how they each get off the line, how they set, move their feet, drive, sustain blocks, move in space, etc. There's plenty to analyze.

I don't think it's an exaggeration at all to suggest the Vikings need to put 4 new starters on the offensive line in the next 2 years. Consider their circumstances: as of right now they don't have a starting-caliber tackle under contract. That's 2 of 4 positions right there. It's pretty hard to make a case for Fusco to continue as a starter. He hasn't looked like a good starting guard for years now.

Berger will be 35 next year, the final year of his contract, and it seems unlikely he'll continue to start at center beyond that. Even if he does, the clock is obviously ticking on his career.

That's 4 of the 5 starting OL positions, 2 of which are currently open. I don't see clear replacements for any of them on the roster, although perhaps Easton can be the next center. I'm guessing that's the plan.
Less important, no. Less likely, yes
I'm discussing needs and team-building strategies, not likelihoods. Having quality depth at QB is hardly an impossibility so pointing to how many teams don't have it isn't a good reason not to pursue and develop that depth.
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Re: The future of the Vikings, part 1: The quarterbacks

Post by S197 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:18 pm

I don't think we have starting caliber tackles on this team. Hill might be a quality backup/low probability starter but yeah, likely we need those 2 positions.

Easton I think has a shot at center as mentioned. He was a PFF preseason all-star when he came into the league (I think this might be the equivalent of a razzie award). But he's young and a late round guy probably needed those few years in the league to develop.

If Harris could come back and at his original form, that would be nice but likely best case scenario. Sirles maybe an outside candidate to play guard at a respectable level?

It would help tremendously if they could fill one of the two voids in the interior via an internal player. I think they draft a RT and grab a LT in free agency (and a groomer in the draft). Then maybe draft one more swing player.
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Re: The future of the Vikings, part 1: The quarterbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:48 pm

S197 wrote:I don't think we have starting caliber tackles on this team. Hill might be a quality backup/low probability starter but yeah, likely we need those 2 positions.

Easton I think has a shot at center as mentioned. He was a PFF preseason all-star when he came into the league (I think this might be the equivalent of a razzie award). But he's young and a late round guy probably needed those few years in the league to develop.

If Harris could come back and at his original form, that would be nice but likely best case scenario. Sirles maybe an outside candidate to play guard at a respectable level?

It would help tremendously if they could fill one of the two voids in the interior via an internal player. I think they draft a RT and grab a LT in free agency (and a groomer in the draft). Then maybe draft one more swing player.
The only issue on the interior right now is RG. Berger has at least another year in him and is a very good C. I think it will be the other way around with the tackles. The only LT I would care for with Whitworth and I'm not even big on that. My #1 priority would be Wagner and he's a RT.
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Re: The future of the Vikings, part 1: The quarterbacks

Post by S197 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:17 pm

Pondering Her Percy wrote: The only issue on the interior right now is RG. Berger has at least another year in him and is a very good C. I think it will be the other way around with the tackles. The only LT I would care for with Whitworth and I'm not even big on that. My #1 priority would be Wagner and he's a RT.
I'm hopeful Berger can go another year at the same level but the statement was over the next 2 years we may have 4 new starters. I could see Berger not making it another 2 and/or a guy like Easton outplaying him. I haven't really looked at the T free agent class but if it's weak at LT then that may be an issue. It will be tough to get a starting LT in the draft in round 2 (assuming they go T). I'd hate to see another year of betting on the health of Kalil should they re-sign him.
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Re: The future of the Vikings, part 1: The quarterbacks

Post by mansquatch » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:59 pm

This is just my opinion on the situation:

Seems very unlikely they add anything at C or G. Fusco is weak link in near term, but he isn't the unit's biggest problem and Mike Harris could be waiting in the wings. This situation isn't great, but Tackle is worse.

I think it is highly unlikely that they will be successful in replacing both Tackles with competitive starters in a single offseason. Furthermore, it is not likely that they'll find immediate help in the college ranks via the draft. I posted an article awhile back that made the point that something like 2 of the first 16 OL drafted in 2015 cracked the starting line up. That means that Free Agency is the likely avenue to find immediate help. Not sure how it shapes up? Maybe they sign Wentworth and some also ran at RT. Maybe they get Kalil on the cheap and then spend big(er) money at RT?

I think they'll spend big money on one side and small money on the other. The net positive here is that just not having TJ Clemmings on the field will be a significant improvement. He was beyond awful and it is hard to imagine any Free Agent with even a modest pedigree not playing considerably better than #68.

Also worth noting is that the 2015 group wasn't just mired by injuries, it was also impacted by lack of continuity. Just having the same guys taking the majority of the snaps will lead to more competitive play. How much better remains to be seen, but this was an additional hurdle for the position group in 2016.
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Re: The future of the Vikings, part 1: The quarterbacks

Post by Pondering Her Percy » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:24 pm

S197 wrote:
I'm hopeful Berger can go another year at the same level but the statement was over the next 2 years we may have 4 new starters. I could see Berger not making it another 2 and/or a guy like Easton outplaying him. I haven't really looked at the T free agent class but if it's weak at LT then that may be an issue. It will be tough to get a starting LT in the draft in round 2 (assuming they go T). I'd hate to see another year of betting on the health of Kalil should they re-sign him.
Even if Berger drops off a bit, I dont think it would be anything significant. There are two kids that are interesting C/G prospects that I am very interested in and are spoken very highly of. Ethan Pocic from LSU and Pat Elfein from Ohio State. Both are legitimate interior lineman. So there is nothing wrong with drafting one of them, putting them at RG and leaving Berger at C or vice versa

But yeah LT is a weak class. This is why I have been saying all along that it is smart to re-sign Kalil. You have a weak FA class AND no first round pick.
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