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Bleacher Report – Vikings

10 free agent offensive linemen the Vikings should avoid

By Matthew Coller

Sep 27, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals guard Earl Watford against the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest goal of the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason is to fix their offensive line. In our series about the future of the Vikings, we looked at the best options to fill holes on the O-line. Here are, according to Pro Football Focus ratings (unranked players did not have enough snaps to qualify) are the worst options up front:

Seattle Seahawks, T, Bradley Sowell

PFF rating: 34.0, 76th of 80

The 6-foot-7, 315-pound tackle was a regular on of one of the only offensive lines ranked by PFF worse than the Vikings’ in 2016 before losing his job late in the year. Sowell had been a backup for the previous two years for the Arizona Cardinals and showed why he was not a regular starter when he struggling mightily to protect Russell Wilson’s blind side.

Arizona Cardinals, T, Earl Watford

PFF rating: 33.9, 77th of 80

Watford was asked to play all over the Arizona offensive line, which probably contributed to his struggles, but his ratings have never been very strong, topping out at a 57.4 two years ago.

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

To his credit, the Cardinals’ linemen face a tough task with a deep-drop offense and more empty sets than any other team, according to ESPN. Still, the 26-year-old linemen performed well below replacement level under those circumstances.

Minnesota Vikings, T, Matt Kalil

PFF rating: 36.9, unranked

The Vikings’ left tackle only played the first two games of the season, but he struggled in those two contests – albeit while battling a hip injury in at least one of the games. But Kalil has not lived up to expectations since his rookie season, providing below average play every year since 2012. Unless the Vikings have reason to believe he will bounce back, they should investigate other options.

Seattle Seahawks, T, Garry Gilliam

PFF rating: 38.0, 73rd of 80

Yes, another Seahawk tackle. The former undrafted free agent from Penn State was a starter for a more than half the year until being benched in early December. He was reinserted into the lineup in the last week of December and played a very good game in the wild card playoff game against Detroit, but overall his third NFL season was a tough one.

Minnesota Vikings, T, Andre Smith

PFF rating: 39.3, unranked

The Vikings signed the former Bengal to a 1-year, $3.5 million contract in the offseason, a move that proved disastrous after Smith played poorly, then ended up on injured reserve. While it wasn’t a big-money deal, Smith had been declining for several years before the Vikings signed him, making the move questionable. They should not consider bringing him back.

Chris Chester, G, Atlanta Falcons

PFF rating: 51.6, 65th of 76

Chester’s rating took a nose dive this year, from 78.8 last season all the way to the bottom of the heap. The 34-year-old guard has been reliable at his position for many years in the NFL, but it would be a bad choice for the Vikings to take a swing at an over-30 linemen coming off a career-worst season.

Chicago Bears, T, Mike Adams

PFF rank: 40.8, unranked

Adams profiles as the type of player the Vikings would take a chance on, but they should think twice about the former second-round draft pick of the Steelers. Adams is 6-foot-7, 325-pounds and was a highly touted prospect coming out of high school, but things have never worked out. He has struggled with back injuries and was released by the Steelers before this season. Here’s a look at his PFF grade history:

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 8.56.56 PM

Miami Dolphins, G, Jermon Bushrod

PFF rating: 43.5, 72nd of 76

The Dolphins were one of the few teams to struggle up front just as much as the Vikings and their weakest link was Bushrod, who five sacks and 34 quarterback pressures, finishing as the league’s worst overall run blocker according to Pro Football Focus.

Indianapolis Colts, C/G, Jonotthan Harrison

PFF rating: 41.8, 74th of 76

In 2015, Pro Football Focus rated Harrison was a halfway decent fill-in player, but he was one of the worst linemen in the league during his limited duty in 2016. The Colts hoped that a change of position would help him find his niche, but he was even worse as a guard than he was as a center in the previous year.

Tampa Bay Bucs, T, Gosder Cherilus

PFF rating: 44.2, unranked

There was a time when Cherilus was a solid linemen for the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts, but those days are long gone as he posted his third straight sub-par season. The Bucs took a shot on him with a 2-year, $7 million deal that turned out to be a bust. His days as a quality starter are probably over.

Jordan Mills, T, Buffalo Bills

PFF rating: 44.2, 66th of 80

The Bills brought in Mills as a fill-in for starter, but were forced to play the former Chicago Bear in all 16 games and over 1,000 snaps this season. The former Louisiana Tech linemen might be fit for the occasional appearance, but he has been in the red (which indicates negative PFF rating) every season of his career.

The post 10 free agent offensive linemen the Vikings should avoid appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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