Vikings offensive line

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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by S197 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:00 pm

fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:24 pm
S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:06 pm


There was some nice value at Guard at the end of the 3rd with guys like Simpson from Clemson available. This is partially why I didn't like the trade down. That and they didn't end up drafting a guard until the 7th despite all the extra collected picks.
What basis do you have to think they would have selected Simpson, or had him highly regarded as a prospect in their system at all? I get your point, but aren't you essentially just saying that you rated Simpson higher than the Vikings, not that you actually object to the trade back?
I obviously have no idea what their draft board looked like. It seems like that's a pretty poor litmus test for a fan messageboard. Simpson was merely an example, Kindley, Stenberg, Dotson... sub in whomever you feel is above Simpson. My objection isn't that they passed on him specifically, my objection is they didn't address one of the biggest weaknesses on the team and it doesn't appear to be due to lack of talent available.

I don't know that the trade back that yielded Hand, Brandel, and Stanley will be all that meaningful to the team long-term. We'll see. I can see 2 maybe all 3 of them cut. Lynch is the most interesting prospect from the trade but they still could have drafted him without trading back, it's the other 3 picks that provided the additional yield.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by fiestavike » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm

S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:00 pm
fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:24 pm


What basis do you have to think they would have selected Simpson, or had him highly regarded as a prospect in their system at all? I get your point, but aren't you essentially just saying that you rated Simpson higher than the Vikings, not that you actually object to the trade back?
I obviously have no idea what their draft board looked like. It seems like that's a pretty poor litmus test for a fan messageboard. Simpson was merely an example, Kindley, Stenberg, Dotson... sub in whomever you feel is above Simpson. My objection isn't that they passed on him specifically, my objection is they didn't address one of the biggest weaknesses on the team and it doesn't appear to be due to lack of talent available.

I don't know that the trade back that yielded Hand, Brandel, and Stanley will be all that meaningful to the team long-term. We'll see. I can see 2 maybe all 3 of them cut. Lynch is the most interesting prospect from the trade but they still could have drafted him without trading back, it's the other 3 picks that provided the additional yield.
For sure, I understand you weren't talking about Simpson exclusively. I would say my same question applies to Kindley, Stenber and Dotson, etc collectively and individually.

I have not problem with anyone saying, I think X was a better pick than Y, but that seems to be the relevant point in regards to criticizing a GM. Saying, "I don't like trading back" assumes that the GM lost a player he valued more by trading back, which I would say is VERY unlikely. GMs grade in tiers, and rick isn't trading back 5 spaces unless he liked at least 5 players at the same level, or feels very confident the (let's say) 3 players he likes equally won't all be taken by the 5 teams in front of him given team needs, etc.

Basically, the criticism of trading back is based on an absurd notion that the GM would take the player the fan ranks higher, and, rest assured, he almost certainly wouldn't, else he would have selected him.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by S197 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:22 pm

fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm
S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:00 pm


I obviously have no idea what their draft board looked like. It seems like that's a pretty poor litmus test for a fan messageboard. Simpson was merely an example, Kindley, Stenberg, Dotson... sub in whomever you feel is above Simpson. My objection isn't that they passed on him specifically, my objection is they didn't address one of the biggest weaknesses on the team and it doesn't appear to be due to lack of talent available.

I don't know that the trade back that yielded Hand, Brandel, and Stanley will be all that meaningful to the team long-term. We'll see. I can see 2 maybe all 3 of them cut. Lynch is the most interesting prospect from the trade but they still could have drafted him without trading back, it's the other 3 picks that provided the additional yield.
For sure, I understand you weren't talking about Simpson exclusively. I would say my same question applies to Kindley, Stenber and Dotson, etc collectively and individually.

I have not problem with anyone saying, I think X was a better pick than Y, but that seems to be the relevant point in regards to criticizing a GM. Saying, "I don't like trading back" assumes that the GM lost a player he valued more by trading back, which I would say is VERY unlikely. GMs grade in tiers, and rick isn't trading back 5 spaces unless he liked at least 5 players at the same level, or feels very confident the (let's say) 3 players he likes equally won't all be taken by the 5 teams in front of him given team needs, etc.

Basically, the criticism of trading back is based on an absurd notion that the GM would take the player the fan ranks higher, and, rest assured, he almost certainly wouldn't, else he would have selected him.
It's possible the guard tier was depleted in his mind by the end of the 3rd round. Although I don't think Rick is as "slick" in the draft as a lot of people give him credit for. And we have a couple of known examples.

The first is the Mike Hughes draft where they passed on a guard. And didn't proceed to draft one until the 6th round (Rick and those similarities again!). We know from post-draft comments that they had a number of guards in a similar tier but chose to pass thinking one would be around in the 2nd. Instead there was a run on guards and they missed out on all of them.

We know from this draft that they were looking to trade up for Jefferson, which turns out would have been a total waste. Now, that's hindsight but the fact still remains that they misread the board. Was Jefferson really in a tier all his own on their board? We'll never know but this was a really good WR class and it seems unlikely.

Then there is the trade back with SF, which on a purely quantitative measure (aka the "chart") wasn't very good value.

So we can sit and speculate and ultimately we don't really know what went on in that war room but it's not like Rick has played each draft amazingly and mistake free. He's yet to put together an offensive line in the last 10 years that quite frankly, hasn't looked offensive. Criticism is justified in my book.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingsVictorious » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:35 pm

Pep2Moss wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:24 pm
Also that takes Hinton out of the guard mix but adds Cleveland.

Elflein, Collins, Brandel
and
Samia, Dozier, Higby and Aiello

Cleveland?

Wouldn't figure Brandel, Higby and Aiello make any type impact this season. I have a feeling they are going to try everything.
I don't think Hinton is out of the guard mix. He is being trained to back up Bradbury so we can release Jones and Elf, but as soon as he shows he is one of our best linemen he will be used at guard again.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingsVictorious » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:38 pm

RandyMoss84 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:39 pm
Maelstrom88 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:27 pm
Sean Borman

@SeanBormanNFL

·

3h

Kubiak said 7th-round pick Kyle Hinton (OT, Washburn) will play Center for the #Vikings. “We believe a lot in moving players from outside in when we think they have the athletic ability to do that... He’ll get behind Garrett and Jones-y and learn some good football from them.”


Kubiak said the #Vikings will work Ezra Cleveland at tackle AND guard. "We're going to play our best 5 guys. He makes us very competitive the minute he walks in the building. His football brain gives us the ability to do a lot of things & settle him down where we feel best."
Uhh what about Bradbury or is Kubiak just talking about preseason? I do like Cleveland playing as tackle and guard and see which will fit best for him
They said he will back up Garrett and Jones-y. Bradbury is still the starting center. :govikes:
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingsVictorious » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:41 pm

fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:24 pm
S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:06 pm


There was some nice value at Guard at the end of the 3rd with guys like Simpson from Clemson available. This is partially why I didn't like the trade down. That and they didn't end up drafting a guard until the 7th despite all the extra collected picks.
What basis do you have to think they would have selected Simpson, or had him highly regarded as a prospect in their system at all? I get your point, but aren't you essentially just saying that you rated Simpson higher than the Vikings, not that you actually object to the trade back?
Simpson was the player I had pegged other than Weaver. Our one reach in the draft IMO was Wonnum. We loved him, but I bet we could have got him later. Simpson went before our pick 117 so our only way to get him would have been pick 105. I don't regret that trade because one of the 4 picks we got was Lynch.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingsVictorious » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:47 pm

S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:00 pm
fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:24 pm


What basis do you have to think they would have selected Simpson, or had him highly regarded as a prospect in their system at all? I get your point, but aren't you essentially just saying that you rated Simpson higher than the Vikings, not that you actually object to the trade back?
I obviously have no idea what their draft board looked like. It seems like that's a pretty poor litmus test for a fan messageboard. Simpson was merely an example, Kindley, Stenberg, Dotson... sub in whomever you feel is above Simpson. My objection isn't that they passed on him specifically, my objection is they didn't address one of the biggest weaknesses on the team and it doesn't appear to be due to lack of talent available.

I don't know that the trade back that yielded Hand, Brandel, and Stanley will be all that meaningful to the team long-term. We'll see. I can see 2 maybe all 3 of them cut. Lynch is the most interesting prospect from the trade but they still could have drafted him without trading back, it's the other 3 picks that provided the additional yield.
I believe Hand will play safety and he is easily the best safety prospect we picked up in the draft. Unless we move Dye to safety. That would be very interesting. Brandel this last season gave up 1 pressure per 100 snaps and one sack per 500 or was that per pass play?. I think Lynch Cancels Simpson or whoever so I'm very happy with the trade back.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingsVictorious » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:51 pm

S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:22 pm
fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm


For sure, I understand you weren't talking about Simpson exclusively. I would say my same question applies to Kindley, Stenber and Dotson, etc collectively and individually.

I have not problem with anyone saying, I think X was a better pick than Y, but that seems to be the relevant point in regards to criticizing a GM. Saying, "I don't like trading back" assumes that the GM lost a player he valued more by trading back, which I would say is VERY unlikely. GMs grade in tiers, and rick isn't trading back 5 spaces unless he liked at least 5 players at the same level, or feels very confident the (let's say) 3 players he likes equally won't all be taken by the 5 teams in front of him given team needs, etc.

Basically, the criticism of trading back is based on an absurd notion that the GM would take the player the fan ranks higher, and, rest assured, he almost certainly wouldn't, else he would have selected him.
It's possible the guard tier was depleted in his mind by the end of the 3rd round. Although I don't think Rick is as "slick" in the draft as a lot of people give him credit for. And we have a couple of known examples.

The first is the Mike Hughes draft where they passed on a guard. And didn't proceed to draft one until the 6th round (Rick and those similarities again!). We know from post-draft comments that they had a number of guards in a similar tier but chose to pass thinking one would be around in the 2nd. Instead there was a run on guards and they missed out on all of them.

We know from this draft that they were looking to trade up for Jefferson, which turns out would have been a total waste. Now, that's hindsight but the fact still remains that they misread the board. Was Jefferson really in a tier all his own on their board? We'll never know but this was a really good WR class and it seems unlikely.

Then there is the trade back with SF, which on a purely quantitative measure (aka the "chart") wasn't very good value.

So we can sit and speculate and ultimately we don't really know what went on in that war room but it's not like Rick has played each draft amazingly and mistake free. He's yet to put together an offensive line in the last 10 years that quite frankly, hasn't looked offensive. Criticism is justified in my book.
I'm supremely confident that we would have drafted Gladney at pick 25. That trade back was poor value per the chart, but it was a very good move. The one other trade back other than trading out for next year was 4 players for 1 slightly earlier player. Hopefully the O Line won't be offensive. We shall see.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by RandyMoss84 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:38 pm

The last time Vikings had a good offensive line was a decade ago with Hutchinson so it will be nice to finally see a good offensive line again
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingLord » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:57 pm

VikingsVictorious wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:11 pm
Cleveland will see the field. That is without question. The question is how much. Wouldn't surprise me at all if it's a lot. Wouldn't surprise me at all if it's a little.
It will surprise me if its a lot, and if its a lot we'd all better hope that Cleveland develops as fast as O'Neill did.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by fiestavike » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:33 pm

S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:22 pm
fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm


For sure, I understand you weren't talking about Simpson exclusively. I would say my same question applies to Kindley, Stenber and Dotson, etc collectively and individually.

I have not problem with anyone saying, I think X was a better pick than Y, but that seems to be the relevant point in regards to criticizing a GM. Saying, "I don't like trading back" assumes that the GM lost a player he valued more by trading back, which I would say is VERY unlikely. GMs grade in tiers, and rick isn't trading back 5 spaces unless he liked at least 5 players at the same level, or feels very confident the (let's say) 3 players he likes equally won't all be taken by the 5 teams in front of him given team needs, etc.

Basically, the criticism of trading back is based on an absurd notion that the GM would take the player the fan ranks higher, and, rest assured, he almost certainly wouldn't, else he would have selected him.
It's possible the guard tier was depleted in his mind by the end of the 3rd round. Although I don't think Rick is as "slick" in the draft as a lot of people give him credit for. And we have a couple of known examples.

The first is the Mike Hughes draft where they passed on a guard. And didn't proceed to draft one until the 6th round (Rick and those similarities again!). We know from post-draft comments that they had a number of guards in a similar tier but chose to pass thinking one would be around in the 2nd. Instead there was a run on guards and they missed out on all of them.

We know from this draft that they were looking to trade up for Jefferson, which turns out would have been a total waste. Now, that's hindsight but the fact still remains that they misread the board. Was Jefferson really in a tier all his own on their board? We'll never know but this was a really good WR class and it seems unlikely.

Then there is the trade back with SF, which on a purely quantitative measure (aka the "chart") wasn't very good value.

So we can sit and speculate and ultimately we don't really know what went on in that war room but it's not like Rick has played each draft amazingly and mistake free. He's yet to put together an offensive line in the last 10 years that quite frankly, hasn't looked offensive. Criticism is justified in my book.
If you want to point to the Hughes draft critically, that's good with me. They gambled that a guard would be there and lost. The board did not fall the way they predicted, and perhaps they wound up the worse for it.

I have no problem criticizing Spielman and co for undervaluing interior OL or QB as a general rule. Nor, as I said, do I object to criticizing them on their evaluations. All I'm saying is that the criticism of the trade back carries with it a logical fallacy, that the Vikings would have selected whoever the fan thinks would be better (or that the player selected at say 25 instead of 31 is necessarily going to be in a higher tier).

With regard to Jefferson, if the Vikings were looking at trading up, its probably because they thought the tier that he was in would be depleted by the time it reached 22. I don't know if he was in a tier with Lamb, Jeudy, etc, or if he was in a tier with Reagor. In any case if they were looking to trade up, it only makes sense if it was for THE TIER, and not for the individual player. Furthermore, I really hope my favorite team isn't basing their evaluations off of what Daniel Jeremiah and the NFL network put on their big board, because if DJ was so great, he'd be working for an NFL team, and I want my team and its scouts to make their own evaluations. I'm happy to disagree with those evaluations, but I would only really be alarmed if their evaluations proved to be far worse than the league 'standard', or if they disregarded their OWN evaluation in favor of those found on the NFL network and various draft sites. I really find criticizing them for playing the board, their evaluations, their tiers, to be deeply logically flawed when its based on the assumption that they should or would have taken player x (or players X, Y, and Z) instead of the guy they took 15 picks later. They probably wouldn't have.
Last edited by fiestavike on Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingsVictorious » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:41 pm

fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:33 pm
S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:22 pm


It's possible the guard tier was depleted in his mind by the end of the 3rd round. Although I don't think Rick is as "slick" in the draft as a lot of people give him credit for. And we have a couple of known examples.

The first is the Mike Hughes draft where they passed on a guard. And didn't proceed to draft one until the 6th round (Rick and those similarities again!). We know from post-draft comments that they had a number of guards in a similar tier but chose to pass thinking one would be around in the 2nd. Instead there was a run on guards and they missed out on all of them.

We know from this draft that they were looking to trade up for Jefferson, which turns out would have been a total waste. Now, that's hindsight but the fact still remains that they misread the board. Was Jefferson really in a tier all his own on their board? We'll never know but this was a really good WR class and it seems unlikely.

Then there is the trade back with SF, which on a purely quantitative measure (aka the "chart") wasn't very good value.

So we can sit and speculate and ultimately we don't really know what went on in that war room but it's not like Rick has played each draft amazingly and mistake free. He's yet to put together an offensive line in the last 10 years that quite frankly, hasn't looked offensive. Criticism is justified in my book.
If you want to point to the Hughes draft critically, that's good with me. They gambled that a guard would be there and lost. The board did not fall the way they predicted, and perhaps they wound up the worse for it.

I have no problem criticizing Spielman and co for undervaluing interior OL or QB as a general rule. Nor, as I said, do I object to criticizing them on their evaluations. All I'm saying is that the criticism of the trade back carries with it a logical fallacy, that the Vikings would have selected whoever the fan thinks would be better (or that the player selected at say 25 instead of 31 is necessarily going to be in a higher tier).
We got O'Neill anyway so no harm, no foul.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by Pep2Moss » Fri May 01, 2020 4:02 am

fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:33 pm
S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:22 pm


It's possible the guard tier was depleted in his mind by the end of the 3rd round. Although I don't think Rick is as "slick" in the draft as a lot of people give him credit for. And we have a couple of known examples.

The first is the Mike Hughes draft where they passed on a guard. And didn't proceed to draft one until the 6th round (Rick and those similarities again!). We know from post-draft comments that they had a number of guards in a similar tier but chose to pass thinking one would be around in the 2nd. Instead there was a run on guards and they missed out on all of them.

We know from this draft that they were looking to trade up for Jefferson, which turns out would have been a total waste. Now, that's hindsight but the fact still remains that they misread the board. Was Jefferson really in a tier all his own on their board? We'll never know but this was a really good WR class and it seems unlikely.

Then there is the trade back with SF, which on a purely quantitative measure (aka the "chart") wasn't very good value.

So we can sit and speculate and ultimately we don't really know what went on in that war room but it's not like Rick has played each draft amazingly and mistake free. He's yet to put together an offensive line in the last 10 years that quite frankly, hasn't looked offensive. Criticism is justified in my book.
If you want to point to the Hughes draft critically, that's good with me. They gambled that a guard would be there and lost. The board did not fall the way they predicted, and perhaps they wound up the worse for it.

I have no problem criticizing Spielman and co for undervaluing interior OL or QB as a general rule. Nor, as I said, do I object to criticizing them on their evaluations. All I'm saying is that the criticism of the trade back carries with it a logical fallacy, that the Vikings would have selected whoever the fan thinks would be better (or that the player selected at say 25 instead of 31 is necessarily going to be in a higher tier).

With regard to Jefferson, if the Vikings were looking at trading up, its probably because they thought the tier that he was in would be depleted by the time it reached 22. I don't know if he was in a tier with Lamb, Jeudy, etc, or if he was in a tier with Reagor. In any case if they were looking to trade up, it only makes sense if it was for THE TIER, and not for the individual player. Furthermore, I really hope my favorite team isn't basing their evaluations off of what Daniel Jeremiah and the NFL network put on their big board, because if DJ was so great, he'd be working for an NFL team, and I want my team and its scouts to make their own evaluations. I'm happy to disagree with those evaluations, but I would only really be alarmed if their evaluations proved to be far worse than the league 'standard', or if they disregarded their OWN evaluation in favor of those found on the NFL network and various draft sites. I really find criticizing them for playing the board, their evaluations, their tiers, to be deeply logically flawed when its based on the assumption that they should or would have taken player x (or players X, Y, and Z) instead of the guy they took 15 picks later. They probably wouldn't have.
I wanted Will Hernandez at that point. He has been "ok" as a pro, but year three is generally the year these talented OL take the next step. Thankful for O'Neill round 2 for sure.

I have always wondered if teams were sometimes swayed by the rankings on the bottom of the screen when their pick is coming up...I remember a few times Rick took at a guy that was somebodies best avail top 5 pick when his turn came up and I must admit I always liked it lol.

I still don't agree with his 2020 thoughts on WR about passing them and getting some in free agency when they draft was over. When an organization like Baltmore trades a pick next year to draft a Piroche right in front of you with your pick you dealt them it stings. That being said, he still lasted until the 6th round.

When round 4 started I wanted one of Simpson or Bartch, one of Weaver or Anae and Lynch. I'll defer every time to Patterson on end, we got Lynch and didn't have a shot at the guards (well, could have dealt up) so was very happy with Dye. I loved the round.

Round 5 was my big issue I had a list of Weaver, Hall, Tyler Johnson, Harris and Hightower and every single one of them got picked in between 155 and 169...was very frustrating to watch unfold.

Round six started with three guards taken I would have liked, and then Piroche, but by that time you are splitting hairs.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by Eller » Tue May 05, 2020 8:03 pm

S197 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:22 pm
fiestavike wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:37 pm


For sure, I understand you weren't talking about Simpson exclusively. I would say my same question applies to Kindley, Stenber and Dotson, etc collectively and individually.

I have not problem with anyone saying, I think X was a better pick than Y, but that seems to be the relevant point in regards to criticizing a GM. Saying, "I don't like trading back" assumes that the GM lost a player he valued more by trading back, which I would say is VERY unlikely. GMs grade in tiers, and rick isn't trading back 5 spaces unless he liked at least 5 players at the same level, or feels very confident the (let's say) 3 players he likes equally won't all be taken by the 5 teams in front of him given team needs, etc.

Basically, the criticism of trading back is based on an absurd notion that the GM would take the player the fan ranks higher, and, rest assured, he almost certainly wouldn't, else he would have selected him.
It's possible the guard tier was depleted in his mind by the end of the 3rd round. Although I don't think Rick is as "slick" in the draft as a lot of people give him credit for. And we have a couple of known examples.

The first is the Mike Hughes draft where they passed on a guard. And didn't proceed to draft one until the 6th round (Rick and those similarities again!). We know from post-draft comments that they had a number of guards in a similar tier but chose to pass thinking one would be around in the 2nd. Instead there was a run on guards and they missed out on all of them.

We know from this draft that they were looking to trade up for Jefferson, which turns out would have been a total waste. Now, that's hindsight but the fact still remains that they misread the board. Was Jefferson really in a tier all his own on their board? We'll never know but this was a really good WR class and it seems unlikely.

Then there is the trade back with SF, which on a purely quantitative measure (aka the "chart") wasn't very good value.

So we can sit and speculate and ultimately we don't really know what went on in that war room but it's not like Rick has played each draft amazingly and mistake free. He's yet to put together an offensive line in the last 10 years that quite frankly, hasn't looked offensive. Criticism is justified in my book.
I agree, its the one place Spielman and the Vikings system has failed miserably is on the offensive line.Denny Green made the oline a priority. But so did Dallas, and having a great oline won them nothing. But they have to be good. Cousins first year was embarrassing, stats were ok, but sometimes he just has no time to complete plays.
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Re: Vikings offensive line

Post by VikingLord » Wed May 06, 2020 4:02 pm

Eller wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 8:03 pm
I agree, its the one place Spielman and the Vikings system has failed miserably is on the offensive line.Denny Green made the oline a priority. But so did Dallas, and having a great oline won them nothing. But they have to be good. Cousins first year was embarrassing, stats were ok, but sometimes he just has no time to complete plays.
Offensive line is really tough to draft, mostly because to be effective offensive linemen have to be able to work well with the players around them. When they do individual drills you can see their raw ability to move in space, change direction, hit blocking dummies, etc., but those conditions don't have much bearing on how well they do in game situations. For that, you need the tape, and even then, the tape might not tell the whole story. An offensive linemen might be very effective as a drive blocker in short yardage situations, for example, but he can't pass block to save his life. Or a guy might be really good at latching on and blocking in pass protection, but he is slow at recognition and often misses blitz pickups.

One thing I like to see when I'm reading pre-draft evals on offensive linemen is they have shown mental development over their college careers. It's one of the reasons I was optimistic about the O'Neill pick, and probably falls along the lines of your opinion of Notre Dame players. While it helps for rookie offensive linemen to have the physical tools coming into the pros, the biggest jump for most of them is mental, and guys who come into the league having put evidence of that mental development on tape are the kinds of linemen I like to see the Vikings draft. That and being hard workers who want to excel.

The same is true for the defensive side of the ball. Being able to recognize and react is really important for defensive linemen. Lots of offensive schemes rely on misdirection and outright deception. They're designed to pull a defensive linemen out of position as much as they are to block him out of it, so finding guys who are capable of playing the position in the larger scheme is as important as finding guys who just put their heads down and plow straight ahead.
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