Minnesota Vikings’ early-round draft prospects: offensive linemen

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Jan 2, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Wisconsin Badgers defensive end Alec James (57) and Western Michigan Broncos offensive lineman Taylor Moton (72) in action in the 2017 Cotton Bowl game at AT&T Stadium. The Badgers defeat the Broncos 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Wisconsin Badgers defensive end Alec James (57) and Western Michigan Broncos offensive lineman Taylor Moton (72) in action in the 2017 Cotton Bowl game at AT&T Stadium. The Badgers defeat the Broncos 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It is absolutely no secret the Minnesota Vikings need an offensive lineman or two; actually they may need three. Should the team deem the free agents unworthy of signing, the Vikings most certainly can find some talent in this year’s draft.

The major question with this or any draft is what round can a serviceable prospect be found. Last year’s draft was said to be riddled with offensive line talent yet the Vikings and their administration decided against pulling the trigger on anyone starter worthy.


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This year however, the draft is seemingly thin on offensive line talent; especially at the tackle position. Obviously prospects can seem one way and turn out the other; thankfully that is not my job as the Vikings have plenty of work to do.

Another obstacle the Vikings must overcome is the fact they do not have a first-round draft pick. General manager, Rick Spielman has been known to trade back into the first round from year-to-year yet this year, it may be tough. Spielman and the Vikings may have better luck having serviceable talent falling to them in the second round than trying to find a trade-worthy prospect.

Regardless of how the Vikings feel about the alleged top of the offensive line free agent crop, at least two or three prospects in this year’s draft are worth a look.

Below will be a few offensive line prospects and which round the Vikings may want to start looking at them.

End of First Round:

Cam Robinson:  Tackle, Alabama

At six-feet-six-inches tall and weighing in at a solid 310 pounds, Robinson is the prototypical mold every general manager looks for in a tackle for the NFL. However, the lack of great offensive tackles in this year’s draft will likely land him in the first round and out of the Vikings’ reach.

Second Round:

Dan Feeney:  Guard, Indiana

Much like Cody Whitehair last year, scouts are claiming Feeney may be worthy of a first round pick yet guards typically stick around until the second round.  At six-feet-four-inches tall and weighing in at 304 pounds, Feeney is a road-grader that could play guard immediately in the NFL or move to center after some coaching.

Forrest Lamp:  Guard, Western Kentucky

Listed as six-feet-four-inches tall and weighing in at 305 pounds, one would think he would think Lamp would light it up at tackle in the NFL. However, NFL.com says Lamp is best suited for guard but could play along the entire line with coaching.  With the attention Lamp has been garnering, he may not be available for the Vikings in the second round.

Late Second — Early Third Round:

Taylor Moton:  Guard, Western Michigan

Does the school name sound familiar? It is the exact same college University of Minnesota’s newest head coach, P.J. Fleck came from; the Vikings may have some inside information from a local source now. Standing at six-feet-five-inches tall and weighing in at 330 pounds, Moton could easily play tackle in the NFL if needed but can start at guard immediately.

Antonio Garcia:  Tackle, Troy

Garcia was a name everyone was buzzing about leading into the senior bowl; ending in mixed results. At six-feet-six-inches tall, he has the height many NFL scouts look for yet he has had trouble staying above 300 pounds. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com says teams may want to draft him and stash him based on his size and traits.

Finish:

From what Vikings’ fans have witnessed, Spielman rarely pulls the trigger on offensive linemen early. Since his current offensive line plan has been an absolute failure, he may want to look at one or two of the men listed here early in the draft.

— Justin Ekstrom covers the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings and can be followed on Twitter @thesportscrib21. Like and follow vikings32 on Facebook and Twitter

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  • Brian_pdx

    Elfien and/or Pocic could also be an option as well, although some may think they are fourth rounders they may go in the third.