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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Will the Vikings add any more offensive linemen?

By Matthew Coller

Over the past few days, a handful of experienced offensive linemen hit the free agent market as teams cut their rosters down to 53.

Among them was former Oakland Raider and Baltimore Raven tackle Austin Howard, ex-Giant John Jerry, former 49er Jonathan Cooper, ex-Brown Austin Pasztor and Bears center Hroniss Grasu (on waivers).

That means the Minnesota Vikings will have options if they want to add to their group of lineman. They could also make a trade, but that becomes less likely as we approach the start of the regular season.

On Monday, head coach Mike Zimmer commented on the state of his O-line, which will likely be without center Pat Elflein for Week 1. Elflein is still recovering from shoulder and ankle surgery. He was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list and is practicing this week, but would have to come a long way in order to face off with the 49ers.

The Vikings already acquired one lineman in a trade, grabbed center Brett Jones from the New York Giants.

“I thought he did good,” Zimmer said of Jones’ performance in the team’s final preseason game. “He’s a good pass protector, I thought he did a nice job when they had the power runs, the double teams and things like that. I thought he did a good job with those. For coming in in one day and playing, that’s impressive.”

Jones is the most likely candidate to start in Elflein’s place. He could become the starting left guard when the former Ohio State star returns.

The Vikings’ other option is to start second-year interior lineman Danny Isidora at center. While he doesn’t have previous experience in the middle, Zimmer said he has come “really far” in a short period of time.

“I think that might be a natural position for him,” Zimmer said. “He’s never done it before, and for him to do it in basically a week, I thought it’s been impressive. It’s been good this week as well.”

If the Vikings feel secure with Isidora being a part of the interior group, they might be set on the offensive line.

They are unlikely to part ways with Aviante Collins, who is essentially playing the role of Jeremiah Sirles as a swing tackle, or Brian O’Neill, a second-round pick with a high ceiling.

Cutting from another position or moving on from veteran Tom Compton would be possibilities, but neither of those scenarios seems very likely considering the depth of the roster at large and Compton’s experience.

Here is a full list of offensive line free agents

The post Will the Vikings add any more offensive linemen? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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