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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings GM Spielman sees ‘some depth’ in offensive line class

By Matthew Coller

INDIANAPOLIS, IND – Before the first pick is made at the NFL Draft on April 27, you will probably hear over and over that this year’s class of offensive linemen is weak.

That isn’t exactly great news for the Vikings, who are desperate to fix things up front, but GM Rick Spielman, speaking with the Twin Cities media on Wednesday at the NFL Combine, indicated there may be an opportunity to find good players with their mid-round picks.

“There is some depth in the class, especially in the rounds we are picking,” Spielman said. “I think having those extra picks this year in the third and fourth rounds will be a huge benefit for us because I think the depth of the draft in general, there will be some pretty good players pushed down our way just because of the talent coming out in this year’s draft.”

The Vikings pick twice in both the third and fourth rounds.

Unlike running backs, who Spielman said are capable of stepping into a starter’s role, tackles often need more seasoning, especially ones who are not elite prospects. So if the Vikings do draft a tackle, it’s a fairly safe bet that they wouldn’t be hoping for a Day 1 starter.

“It’s a little bit of an adjustment for them because, especially if you’re a left tackle, you’re going against the opposing team’s best pass rusher every week, it’s not like you’re going to have a week off where you have a homecoming game,” Spielman said.

“I also think as far as the technical parts, what they were able to get away with in college because they’re just better athletes and they don’t have to be as technically sound, that shows up and that takes time to develop when you get to our level.”

It would appear the Vikings will do the majority of their work to fix the offensive line in free agency. CBS’s Jason La Confora reported that the Vikings are interested in recently-released tackle Russell Okung. Though Minnesota has been tied to nearly every starting free agent linemen.

“You weigh in where you think the strength of free agency is and where the strength of the draft is and if you think where you’re selecting that you can get a player that you’d be interested in, then you wait,” Spielman said. “If you think that particular position is better than attacking free agency because there isn’t as much available where you’ll be picking in the draft, then you look to free agency. That’s part of putting the whole plan in place.”

The post Vikings GM Spielman sees ‘some depth’ in offensive line class appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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