do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

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Where do the Vikings see Ezra? At G or T?

A. Guard
6
67%
B. Right Tackle
0
No votes
C. Left Tackle
3
33%
 
Total votes: 9

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VikingPaul73
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do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by VikingPaul73 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:59 am

It seems pretty unclear to me where the Vikings plan to play Ezra long term. With his length and athleticism, and his experience at LT at Boise St, one would think he was drafted to eventually play LT. But right away in camp, they put him at LG and eventually moved him to RG due to injuries. Was that just because Reiff already had the LT spot and they were so desperate for competent G play, that they just stuck Ezra there? Or do they think his NFL future is at G?

Unless I missed it, Vikings haven't been clear at all on their plans for Ezra....cutting Reiff led us to believe they would move Ezra to LT, but within hours of that move there were reports that Vikings were talking to the Ravens about Orlando Brown.....mixed signals.

so what do you guys think?
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by CharVike » Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:15 pm

From what I read he was basically a tackle prospect. He's the typical type of player this scheme we run looks for. Less powerful guys that are lighter but have movement. Guys that can get downfield. I prefer the bigger guys that can handle the point, get movement and wear guys out. Looks like an O'neil clone. I give the kid credit for coming in and playing G as a rookie. That gives flexibility because they can look for a G or T. In that regard the scheme is good. I assume he'll go to LT because those guys in FA aren't cheap. If there are any available. The OL position in the NFL has almost become an after thought. It's like no team really gives a ####. The Pats let very good OL players walk it seems like every other year. They just plug the next cheaper body in. There's a ton of players in FA so there will be plenty of bodies to pick from. I think our team sees him as a tackle. It was a body in case Reif wouldn't move on his salary. Which became the case this year. Hopefully Ezra is a better T than G. He should be.

OVERALL

Cleveland could be the biggest miss or hit at offensive tackle depending on how you view the toe injury that held him back for all of 2019. If you see that as the reason for his lack of power, his athleticism and poise make him look like a starter. But if power is important, he's going to struggle to see the field Year 1 barring a major comeback from an injury that limited his practice time. As one of the more polarizing players in this class, Cleveland carries a considerable amount of boom-or-bust potential.



GRADE: 72

PRO COMPARISON: Brian O'Neill/Garett Bolles
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by Maelstrom88 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:01 pm

Yeah with the recent interest in Brown it would appear they view him as a guard and the plan is to keep him there. Then again that is assuming they have a "view" and a "plan" :pour:
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by S197 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:12 pm

I would assume they drafted him to play tackle, it's a pretty dumb pick if the intention was to keep him at guard. Cleveland at guard was likely a byproduct of having two solid tackles starting last year and Cleveland needing a lot of work to get up to NFL speed. There was no offseason and no preseason so he didn't get the reps and evaluation you would normally get as a rookie.

Based on cutting Reiff, I'm going to guess he moves to RT and O'Neill moves to LT. The only issue with this is that basically means you're going to have 4 out of your 5 lineman either new to the team or playing a new position. And the one guy who is staying is currently vastly under performing his draft position. So maybe based on that they move him to LT so that at least RT and C have some continuity.

Of course there's still the dark horse scenario where he stays at guard and Udoh takes RT (aka the plan last year prior to Reiff accepting a pay cut). The problem of course is we are still in the same position we've been in since Day 1 of the Rick Spielman era. Who will play guard? Do you move yet another center (Brett Jones) to guard? Dozier is below average and Samia is outright horrible. Kyle Hinton is the only guy left. Hill and Udoh aren't guards. Neither is Collins.

If we're honest with ourselves, there's really no one on the team that should be starting so we have two really big holes. Maybe one gets filled in free agency with the little cap we have but there's been little success there. See Mike Remmers for a prime example. Or Alex Boone.

Same with the draft, maybe they draft a guard, but when is the last time that's worked out? The last time we were this needy at guard, Rick drafted Mike Hughes and then waited until the 6th round to draft a guard. Who didn't even make it past training camp.

At the end of the day, I don't think it matters where Ezra plays because we have a much more systemic issue. And that's a GM that has shown year after year that he has zero idea how to construct an O-line. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then we're all insane to think Rick is somehow going to put together a serviceable OL this offseason.
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by VikingLord » Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:48 pm

I think the decision to put him at right guard last year was driven by circumstances and necessity, and I think where he ends up this year will be driven by the same and largely dependent upon the moves the Vikings make in free agency and what shakes out in the draft and then over the offseason program and training camp.

My guess is, Spielman drafted Cleveland with left tackle in mind and with the thought that he'd have time to learn, get stronger, and grow into that position before the Vikings would call upon him to become a starter.

Circumstances dictated otherwise and they put him in at right guard. While he didn't dominate at that position, he did well enough to demonstrate that he could play it competently, which I think gives Zimmer and Spielman some flexibility that they might not otherwise have had.

My best guess is they plan to slot Cleveland in at LT unless they can address LT with a clearly better option either in FA or in the draft. If they do move on it in the draft it will be with their first pick as that is where they'll find guys with a realistic chance of being capable of starting at LT on Day One of the 2021 season. If they don't draft a clear LT with their first rounder, then its more likely they'll find guards (as in multiple players) in Rounds 3 and 4 they like and think might have a shot at starting on Day One. In that event I think Cleveland gets the starting LT job barring a FA move between the draft and the start of the season.

To specifically answer your question, I think the Vikings view Cleveland as player who can play multiple positions on the offensive line and as a result will put him where he is most needed given the other players they have to work with.

Another thing we could see this year along the offensive line is Udoh taking over RT and O'Neill shifting over to LT. Udoh was a developmental pick who has had sufficient time to develop. If Udoh has a chance to break into the starting OL lineup, this is his year to do it and RT would be the position where he'd do it. This would be great for the Vikings because it means they really have to find one guard in the upcoming draft who can slot in and start rather than two guards. Here's hoping he can be a later round surprise who emerges into an effective, starting role on the OL and maybe helps to quiet some of the criticism of Spielman around his later-round OL picks the last few years.
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by VikingPaul73 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:34 pm

Maelstrom88 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:01 pm
Yeah with the recent interest in Brown it would appear they view him as a guard and the plan is to keep him there. Then again that is assuming they have a "view" and a "plan" :pour:
good point, it's possible that there is more analysis on the topic in this thread than at Viking HQ :lol:
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by VikingPaul73 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:38 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:48 pm

To specifically answer your question, I think the Vikings view Cleveland as player who can play multiple positions on the offensive line and as a result will put him where he is most needed given the other players they have to work with.
unfortunately I think this is the most likely explanation. Instead of proactively identifying and targeting players for specific positions, they might just be reactive and seeing who falls in their laps in the draft and then moving the chips around as needed
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by VikingPaul73 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:42 pm

S197 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:12 pm

At the end of the day, I don't think it matters where Ezra plays because we have a much more systemic issue. And that's a GM that has shown year after year that he has zero idea how to construct an O-line. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then we're all insane to think Rick is somehow going to put together a serviceable OL this offseason.
agreed - and I think the fact that their plan for Ezra is so unclear is just a symptom of the bigger issue
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by CharVike » Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:17 pm

VikingPaul73 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:42 pm
S197 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:12 pm

At the end of the day, I don't think it matters where Ezra plays because we have a much more systemic issue. And that's a GM that has shown year after year that he has zero idea how to construct an O-line. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then we're all insane to think Rick is somehow going to put together a serviceable OL this offseason.
agreed - and I think the fact that their plan for Ezra is so unclear is just a symptom of the bigger issue
What makes you think the plan is unclear. I think they wanted the kid to sit for a year and get some strength. Riley was getting the boot anyway. It's not like we got rid of an all world LT. We all #### about the guy. Plus he's getting old. He could fall backwards quickly. They needed a player at G and Ezra filled in. G is much easier than LT and gave him some experience against pros. He's a solid kid but wasn't graded as a pick and play guy. Especially coming off an injury. I see him moving to LT. The kid Samia looks like a bad pick. I liked it when it was made. Picks are missed. I hated the O'neil pick but it worked out. Our OL is rated as terrible. How did we move the ball. I've seen bad OL in action and the O gets stuffed. The O isn't ranked no 4. The Pack OL is rated as top notch but they are blowing it up. Maybe these ratings are confusing me. Teams constantly shuffle their OL. That's NFL life. The Browns want from a joke to one of the best in one season. The might need to bust it up next year for other needs. That's NFL life and OL players get the boot all the time.
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by RandyMoss84 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:33 pm

Guard
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by CharVike » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm

The Cheifs just released a couple of OT. OL dropping like crazy. Many more to come.
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by RandyMoss84 » Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:59 pm

CharVike wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm
The Cheifs just released a couple of OT. OL dropping like crazy. Many more to come.
Yeah because they had to get under the cap thanks to that stupid Mahomes contract
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by CharVike » Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:33 pm

RandyMoss84 wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:59 pm
CharVike wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 7:37 pm
The Cheifs just released a couple of OT. OL dropping like crazy. Many more to come.
Yeah because they had to get under the cap thanks to that stupid Mahomes contract
Your right. Mahomes also restructured. This is a crazy time right now. Rick better get a couple G so we settle this OL for a change. I'm not talking the top dogs either. Good solid players would be great. They won't be any cheaper than now either. Sign them to multi year deals. We all know that won't happen.
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by Rhodes Closed » Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:19 pm

From what it looks like, Joe Thuney and Kevin Zeitler could be options for the Vikings at guard since they're free agents atm.

Man, what a line that would be if the Vikings had Brown-Thuney-Bradbury-Cleveland-O'Neill.
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Re: do Vikings view Ezra as a G or a T?

Post by S197 » Sun Mar 14, 2021 2:55 pm

VikingLord wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:48 pm
I think the decision to put him at right guard last year was driven by circumstances and necessity, and I think where he ends up this year will be driven by the same and largely dependent upon the moves the Vikings make in free agency and what shakes out in the draft and then over the offseason program and training camp.

My guess is, Spielman drafted Cleveland with left tackle in mind and with the thought that he'd have time to learn, get stronger, and grow into that position before the Vikings would call upon him to become a starter.

Circumstances dictated otherwise and they put him in at right guard. While he didn't dominate at that position, he did well enough to demonstrate that he could play it competently, which I think gives Zimmer and Spielman some flexibility that they might not otherwise have had.

My best guess is they plan to slot Cleveland in at LT unless they can address LT with a clearly better option either in FA or in the draft. If they do move on it in the draft it will be with their first pick as that is where they'll find guys with a realistic chance of being capable of starting at LT on Day One of the 2021 season. If they don't draft a clear LT with their first rounder, then its more likely they'll find guards (as in multiple players) in Rounds 3 and 4 they like and think might have a shot at starting on Day One. In that event I think Cleveland gets the starting LT job barring a FA move between the draft and the start of the season.

To specifically answer your question, I think the Vikings view Cleveland as player who can play multiple positions on the offensive line and as a result will put him where he is most needed given the other players they have to work with.

Another thing we could see this year along the offensive line is Udoh taking over RT and O'Neill shifting over to LT. Udoh was a developmental pick who has had sufficient time to develop. If Udoh has a chance to break into the starting OL lineup, this is his year to do it and RT would be the position where he'd do it. This would be great for the Vikings because it means they really have to find one guard in the upcoming draft who can slot in and start rather than two guards. Here's hoping he can be a later round surprise who emerges into an effective, starting role on the OL and maybe helps to quiet some of the criticism of Spielman around his later-round OL picks the last few years.
I don’t think the criticism is about his later-round picks. Although how do you define later round? Bradbury was a 1st, Elflein was a 3rd, and Samia, Beavers and Clemmings were 4th rounders. Those aren’t throw away rounds.

The criticism is no matter what he’s done, he’s failed.

https://mobile.twitter.com/PFF_Vikings/ ... 82145?s=19
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