At the risk of sounding like a broken record, allow me to sound the alarm again: The single biggest concern about the Vikings going into 2018 is their offensive line and that unit’s ability to protect $84 million QB Kirk Cousins.
On this front, there actually was a welcome development (if indeed it stays that way) in OTAs. Our Andrew Krammer reported Wednesday that Mike Remmers was working as the first team right tackle, with Riley Reiff at left tackle.
That stands in contrary to the Vikings alignment in the playoffs, when Remmers slid to guard and Rashod Hill started at tackle. That did not go well. Krammer reports that Mike Zimmer said Hill was “banged up,” explaining Remmers working as the first team tackle, but hopefully that’s a permanent change. Hill should be the swing tackle while rookie second-round pick Brian O’Neill develops.
However: If the Vikings had an inkling they were going to go in this direction — if indeed Remmers stays at tackle, and it’s only May so that’s subject to change — it really makes their decision not to be more aggressive in upgrading at guard in the offseason even more curious.
We talked about that very thing, by the way, on this week’s Access Vikings podcast. Give it a listen and subscribe here.
Veteran Tom Compton was brought in, and he was working with the first team at right guard Wednesday while Nick Easton shifted to center while Pat Elflein was out. Danny Isidora was the left guard.
Pro Football Focus graded guard Joe Berger as the Vikings’ top offensive lineman last year. Remmers was their highest-graded tackle, and at least (for now) that’s where he’s situated.
But Berger is retired, and his replacement isn’t clear yet. Again, that’s what the spring and summer is about. The Vikings’ line last year was surprisingly adequate, particularly until injuries hit late in the year.
Maybe there’s enough there to have similar production in 2018. The Vikings better hope so, since the disaster of 2016 is still very fresh.