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 Vikings grades: Offensive Line 
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Post Vikings grades: Offensive Line
The article at the link below is the first in an eight-part series from the Strib reviewing the 2016 Vikings and looking ahead by position:

Vikings grades and position outlook: Berger, Boone lead underwhelming offensive line

Quote:
Flexibility is the silver lining for an injury-riddled and underachieving offensive line group, especially at tackle. The Vikings can clean the slate with just T.J. Clemmings and Rashod Hill currently under contract on the outsides. In Tony Sparano’s first season as offensive line coach, the Vikings lost three tackles to injury, one to retirement and another potential starter to illness.

Offensive linemen

Under contract in 2017: G Alex Boone, C Joe Berger, G Brandon Fusco, OT T.J. Clemmings, C Nick Easton, G Willie Beavers, OT Rashod Hill, G Austin Shepherd

Pending free agents: OT Matt Kalil, OT Andre Smith, G Mike Harris, OT Jeremiah Sirles, OT Jake Long, G Zac Kerin

Grades are based on a 1-5 scale, with ‘5’ marking an excellent season, ‘4’ for above-average, ‘3’ for average, ‘2’ for below-average and ‘1’ for failure to perform. Players who did not accrue a season (weren’t on the active roster for at least six weeks) or played in three games or fewer are not graded. Based on game and practice observations, weekly film reviews and interviews. Quarterback pressures are provided by Pro Football Focus analyst Trevor Lynch.


The author of the article, Andrew Krammer, gave Berger a 4.0 and Boone received a grade of 3.5. Nobody else was given a grade above 3. Krammer hedged his bets by giving Long and Easton a 2.5.

Frankly, I think all of the grades above are overly generous. The other grades are as follows:

Sirles 2.0
Fusco 1.5
Smith 1.5
Clemmings 1.0

Kerin, Kalil, Hill, Harris, Beavers and Shepherd all received an N/A.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:48 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
I doubt this comes as a surprise to anyone here.

I'm curious to see what they do at Tackle. Do they bring back Long? Kalil? I think Sirles will come back, he was serviceable as a backup and should beat out Clemmings for that role. But what do they do for starters?

In all honesty there just isn't much to say that hasn't already been said, they were awful and everyone knows they were awful. We probably won't see any movement here until Free Agency unless they make a coaching change.

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:18 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
mansquatch wrote:
I doubt this comes as a surprise to anyone here.

I'm curious to see what they do at Tackle. Do they bring back Long? Kalil? I think Sirles will come back, he was serviceable as a backup and should beat out Clemmings for that role. But what do they do for starters?

In all honesty there just isn't much to say that hasn't already been said, they were awful and everyone knows they were awful. We probably won't see any movement here until Free Agency unless they make a coaching change.



If we see any movement before free agency, my guess is it would involve a new contract for Kalil.

I hope they don't bring back Long or Smith. Clemmings should be cut. In fact, if any of those 3 players are on the roster going into camp, I think it will be further indication of the team's inability to learn from their mistakes.

I can't remember a time when the Vikings OL was this unsettled, with no starting-caliber players signed at tackle. Heck, I barely see any starting-caliber players anywhere on the line!


Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:36 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
mansquatch wrote:
I doubt this comes as a surprise to anyone here.

I'm curious to see what they do at Tackle. Do they bring back Long? Kalil? I think Sirles will come back, he was serviceable as a backup and should beat out Clemmings for that role. But what do they do for starters?

In all honesty there just isn't much to say that hasn't already been said, they were awful and everyone knows they were awful. We probably won't see any movement here until Free Agency unless they make a coaching change.


I think Sirles has value because he played more than one position. The Vikings seem to like that with their players.
He got stuck at tackle due to injuries and he also filled in at both guard spots. This was only his first year starting.
If anything he will be a solid backup.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:40 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
halfgiz wrote:
I think Sirles has value because he played more than one position. The Vikings seem to like that with their players.
He got stuck at tackle due to injuries and he also filled in at both guard spots. This was only his first year starting.
If anything he will be a solid backup.


I pretty much agree but Sirles has to be good at all the positions he plays. I thought he was so-so at best and bad at worst.

I find myself wishing the Vikings could bring in a completely new OL next season, including their backup players. I know it sounds harsh and it certainly is unrealistic but if Shurmur's offense is going to have any chance at succeeding, then the OL better win the battle in the trenches.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:50 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
No way they bring back Long.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:50 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
I think they will sign Kalil back up for next year, but could we move Boone to LT and maybe grab a G (free agency or draft)?

Keep Hill, Easton and Sirles as backups.

Long and Smith released and Clemmings can be janitor or something.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:52 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Clemmings got a 1.5?

What does it take to be a 1.0? Actually carrying a matador's cape and screaming "Ole!" as the DE runs past?


Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:57 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Before Long went down he was starting to stabilize and play well. His Injury history is a big concern, but if they think he is over it, he is worth another look. He won't be expensive.

Kalil is similar to Long given the injury history, but will probably be more expensive.

Smith was already on a prove it deal, so if he comes back it will be on a cheaper prove it deal.

Of those three I think Long has the most upside, but that is assuming he can come back from yet another major injury.

The only good think about these three options is their cap numbers should be low. UGH...

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:08 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
VikingPaul73 wrote:
Clemmings got a 1.5?

What does it take to be a 1.0? Actually carrying a matador's cape and screaming "Ole!" as the DE runs past?


I was laughing at that also. I am scared to ask how he could actually be worse.

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:09 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
VikingPaul73 wrote:
Clemmings got a 1.5?

What does it take to be a 1.0? Actually carrying a matador's cape and screaming "Ole!" as the DE runs past?


That would have been more entertaining than what we saw this season.

Actually, I mis-typed his grade. He received a grade of 1.0. I've corrected it now.

I received a phone call right as I reached that point in typing the post this morning and foolishly tried to talk and finish the post at the same time. Inevitably, I screwed it up! :lol:


Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Mothman wrote:
VikingPaul73 wrote:
Clemmings got a 1.5?

What does it take to be a 1.0? Actually carrying a matador's cape and screaming "Ole!" as the DE runs past?


That would have been more entertaining than what we saw this season.

Actually, I mis-typed his grade. He received a grade of 1.0. I've corrected it now.

I received a phone call right as I reached that point in typing the post this morning and foolishly tried to talk and finish the post at the same time. Inevitably, I screwed it up! :lol:


What Jim is actually saying is that he felt that Clemmings deserved a better grade. :hitfan:

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:21 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
mansquatch wrote:
What Jim is actually saying is that he felt that Clemmings deserved a better grade. :hitfan:


:spanking:


Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:40 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Couple tackles who could be available
Ryan Clady, OT, Jets - he was on the IR this year and Jets will probably cut him.

Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia Eagles - he could be a cap casualty .


Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:23 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
I'm curious if Berger graded out similarly at both C and G. If he can play G and Easton can play C, that would give them time to groom potential draftees/Sirles and focus on the tackle positions as the immediate concern.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:24 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
S197 wrote:
I'm curious if Berger graded out similarly at both C and G. If he can play G and Easton can play C, that would give them time to groom potential draftees/Sirles and focus on the tackle positions as the immediate concern.


Here's what the section of the article about Berger, including what they said about him playing guard:

Quote:
In his age 34 season, Berger continued to be an overlooked bargain for the Vikings. Earned a starting role for the first time in six years out of camp with John Sullivan unable to return to form after multiple back surgeries. Played 852 snaps [81%]. Before they abandoned the run game, much focused behind Berger and Boone — the two most capable of opening a rare seam.Sat out two games due to a concussion, when his reliability contrasted with young Nick Easton’s growing pains in botched snaps and a protection call or two. Made starts at left and right guard, where his physical limitations were exposed. Still only allowed a team-low eight QB pressures (two sacks). Flagged once. Turns 35 in May. Under contract for a $1.76 million salary cap hit next season.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:34 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
I don't see how Jake Long can possibly return at his age with a blown achilles.

As much as it pains us, we're probably going to have to re-sign Matt Kalil. He's the best we've got at tackle, and far better than anyone who played after him this year.

Berger is pretty solid in the middle, but he's 35, and concussions are no joke.

Boone is serviceable. Fusco's cap hit of $3.87 million means he's staying, unfortunately.

Beyond that, we need a serious infusion of talent. Easton, Sirles, Clemmings, Kerin, Hill, Leave it to Beavers, et. al., don't really care what they do with them. I'm sure they'd make good bouncers, or maybe mall cops.

In free agency, Sebastian Vollmer is an UFA. He's a risk after missing the season with hip and shoulder injuries, but he's really good when healthy and comes from New England, where they seem to do everything right. Riley Reiff of the Kitties is available, but he will get lots of interest and will come at a high cost for someone who ranks in the middle of the pack at tackle. Baltimore's Ricky Wagner is pretty solid (19th overall by PFF) but is also going to be expensive. If we release AP, we've got $41 million in cap space. We're gonna have to back up the Brinks truck for one of these guys, most likely, as there isn't much in the draft at tackle, and we don't have a first-round pick unless we trade up.

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
The whole Oline is so bad, I dont care if we loose any one of them. There are all just so generic and blahish. I dont know what I will do if Rick and Zim dont make it their #1 priority, and work on it right away. Its going to be a long year regardless. Im sure someone other then AD will be the main back (which is going to be so sad), and McKinnon and Asiata just aernt good. At all.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:38 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
J. Kapp 11 wrote:
I don't see how Jake Long can possibly return at his age with a blown achilles.

As much as it pains us, we're probably going to have to re-sign Matt Kalil. He's the best we've got at tackle, and far better than anyone who played after him this year.

Berger is pretty solid in the middle, but he's 35, and concussions are no joke.

Boone is serviceable. Fusco's cap hit of $3.87 million means he's staying, unfortunately.


Fusco's dead cap hit is $1.6 million in 2017 so it's not inconceivable they could move on. I'm guessing he'll still be a Vikings in when the season starts though.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:54 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Did Hill play in any games this year? I thought he played in the last game. I just don't remember and if he did how did he do?

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:54 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Raptorman wrote:
Did Hill play in any games this year? I thought he played in the last game. I just don't remember and if he did how did he do?


Yes he played LT in the finale from 2nd Q on after Clemmings got hurt. He did well too in this small sample size. Got bull rushed a couple times but recovered, no sacks allowed and no penalties either.

I don't know much about the guy but he acquitted himself well in spot duty but lets be honest here, a pylon looks better than Clemmings.


Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:33 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
RFIP wrote:
Raptorman wrote:
Did Hill play in any games this year? I thought he played in the last game. I just don't remember and if he did how did he do?


Yes he played LT in the finale from 2nd Q on after Clemmings got hurt. He did well too in this small sample size. Got bull rushed a couple times but recovered, no sacks allowed and no penalties either.

I don't know much about the guy but he acquitted himself well in spot duty but lets be honest here, a pylon looks better than Clemmings.


True. However, I think he could be a good depth piece regardless.

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Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:25 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
VikingPaul73 wrote:
Clemmings got a 1.5?

What does it take to be a 1.0? Actually carrying a matador's cape and screaming "Ole!" as the DE runs past?


They gave him half a point for yelling, "Sam he's coming!!" every time he was turnstiled.


Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:25 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-ranking-all-32-nfl-offensive-lines-this-season/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=prooline011117

Not sure if anyone posted this yet but we officially somehow did not have the worst line in the NFL :lol:

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Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:33 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
found this article from another forum

The future of the Vikings, part 4: The offensive line

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:46 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Pondering Her Percy wrote:
https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-ranking-all-32-nfl-offensive-lines-this-season/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=paidsocial&utm_campaign=prooline011117

Not sure if anyone posted this yet but we officially somehow did not have the worst line in the NFL [emoji38]

That seems surreal.

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:52 am
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
808vikingsfan wrote:
found this article from another forum

The future of the Vikings, part 4: The offensive line


That is a pretty good summary of where we are at. March should be interesting.

The part about not listening to Boone and the bit about HIll being better than Clemmings is very damning in my opinion. Anyone could see how bad Clemming was. Not instilling a lot of confidence in the coaching staff...

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Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:41 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
mansquatch wrote:
808vikingsfan wrote:
found this article from another forum

The future of the Vikings, part 4: The offensive line


That is a pretty good summary of where we are at. March should be interesting.

The part about not listening to Boone and the bit about HIll being better than Clemmings is very damning in my opinion. Anyone could see how bad Clemming was. Not instilling a lot of confidence in the coaching staff...



I agree, excellent read: very balanced assessment of our situation and comprehensive too.

My hope: sign one of the best FA tackles (Whitworth or Reiff) and draft another in rounds 2 or 3. Resign Kalil to an appropriate contract for his talent level. For G, same: combo of FA and draft. We need to invest intelligently in OL.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:07 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
this is all one big hot pile of crap. Berger a 4/5? Really?? just because he can, on paper, start at more then one spot? either way, he plays both spots in a very average/mediocre way.....that is the BEST eval on the whole OL but its just the best of the worst.....Sirles is nothing but a tackling dummy on a sled. If Kalil comes back at a discount and SPielman claims victory...we are doomed to failure.

The only real answer is a scorched earth policy where we bring in all new talent and make it clear that NO ONE's job is secure till we are operating at a quality rate.


Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:18 pm
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Post Re: Vikings grades: Offensive Line
Texas Vike wrote:
mansquatch wrote:
808vikingsfan wrote:
found this article from another forum

The future of the Vikings, part 4: The offensive line


That is a pretty good summary of where we are at. March should be interesting.

The part about not listening to Boone and the bit about HIll being better than Clemmings is very damning in my opinion. Anyone could see how bad Clemming was. Not instilling a lot of confidence in the coaching staff...



I agree, excellent read: very balanced assessment of our situation and comprehensive too.

My hope: sign one of the best FA tackles (Whitworth or Reiff) and draft another in rounds 2 or 3. Resign Kalil to an appropriate contract for his talent level. For G, same: combo of FA and draft. We need to invest intelligently in OL.


Given the relative abundance of FA talent at Guard vs. Tackle maybe it makes more sense to shift Boone to LT, sign a RT or make Kalil play there, and then add FA Guard talent?

They could go for broke and sign two big FA linemen, but that is probably the demise of AP era in MN.

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