In the most recent edition of the vikings.com Monday Morning Mailbag, I addressed a question from a reader asking why the Vikings didn’t draft more offensive linemen. As a reader has pointed out to me, I need to clarify and correct a few facts contained within that response and then I also want update a few of the figures I originally included.
In my response, I stated that 7 of the Vikings 11 offensive linemen currently under contract (including 5th round draft pick Chris DeGeare) were 23 or younger and that Ryan Cook was just 24, indicating that the Vikings had a bevy of young linemen to develop and therefore didn’t need to be aggressive in picking more up during the draft. In reality, 7 of those 11 offensive linemen are 24 or younger and Cook is actually 26. Although the numbers are slightly different, the point remains that the Vikings have a roster full of developmental prospects at offensive line.
Since that Monday Morning Mailbag was posted, the Vikings have added players – both as undrafted rookie free agents and tryout players – that strengthen this point. Five undrafted rookie free agent OL will participate in this weekend’s rookie minicamp and they’ll be joined by 4 more OL who will be trying out. That brings the total number of OL with the Vikings to 20 and 16 of them are at or under the age of 24, with Cook at 26 (turning 27 on May 8).
Maybe more than any other position, unheralded prospects can turn into productive players along the OL. In 2010, 3 OL who entered the NFL as undrafted players (Jason Peters, Shaun O’Hara and Kris Dielman) made the Pro Bowl and another (David Diehl) was taken in the 5th round.
So after all of that, the point remains: the Vikings are in a good position to develop some young OL and groom them to be solid players. But I wanted to clarify and correct the facts, and also include that update. So thanks to Jesse, who pointed out the need for clarification.
Tags: Chris DeGeare
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