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Minnesota has shored up holes in its team this offseason, most of which were on the defense. The Vikings fixed the interior defensive line spots and even added a cornerback. Minnesota also signed a safety who can start alongside Harrison Smith back deep.
But for the Vikings, offensive line remains a weak spot. Minnesota released Riley Reiff this offseason. The Vikings re-signed Dakota Dozier, the starting guard from 2020, but the team may want to go in a different direction in 2021.
Some Vikings fans hoped that their team would trade for Orlando Brown, a former Ravens offensive lineman who requested a trade over his desire to play left tackle. It just so happened that Minnesota has an opening at left tackle this offseason, due to Reiff’s departure.
Brown ended up being acquired by the Chiefs. Based on what Kansas City gave up, it would have been hard for Minnesota to land Brown.
The Chiefs gave up first-round, third-round and fourth-round picks in the 2021 NFL draft, along with a fifth-round draft pick in 2022. That’s quite the haul, and it’s hard to rationalize the Vikings doing it.
Minnesota has some glaring weaknesses outside of left tackle. The team struggled to protect the quarterback on the interior offensive line in 2020. It’d be great for Mason Cole to slot in as a starter and do well in that spot, but Cole may just be depth. The defensive end position opposite Danielle Hunter could also use an upgrade.
The Vikings also need to make sure the skill positions on offense improve, whether that’s adding a good wide receiver three or another good receiving tight end. It’s easy to chalk up another stellar year where Kirk Cousins, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook all either match or improve their production levels from this past season, but that’s not a given.
Of course, success in the NFL draft isn’t a given, either. The Vikings need to hit on some picks in the next couple of seasons to have any shot at a deep postseason run. In that case, it helps to have a lot of picks, so Brown’s trade haul seems like too much to give up for Minnesota. He could command a large deal in 2022 and the Vikings need picks to solve other problem areas.