The Vikings have invested more in their offensive line in recent drafts than they have in the past, choosing Pat Elflein in the third round in 2017 and Brian O'Neill in the second round in 2018.
But Minnesota still has invested just one first-round pick on the O-line — Matt Kalil in 2012 — in the past 16 drafts, and that level of neglect has the franchise in its current predicament.
Basically, the Vikings enter the first round of the draft Thursday with the knowledge that using the No. 18 pick on an offensive lineman would address their most pressing immediate need.
But addressing a pressing need is a dangerous way to go about picking players. It's fine as a tiebreaker between players, but otherwise a team risks getting diminished value. The Vikings, though, are built to win now with an expensive quarterback who suffered behind poor line play last season.
They seem backed into a corner.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.