Vikings Offseason Priority: Protect Ponder

The Minnesota Vikings took a risk last year by investing a high 1st-round pick in Christian Ponder. And now that they have their franchise quarterback, it’s time to surround him with the talent he needs to succeed.

According to the Vikings offensive line ranked in the middle of the pack in terms of pass blocking efficiency (16th overall). But while they were acceptable as a group, there are some holes which could be filled.

The most glaring issue on the line is at left tackle, where free agent pickup Charlie Johnson struggled all season. ProFootballFocus ranked Johnson 42nd out of 58 tackles in terms of pass blocking efficiency (93.5%).

The best-case scenario for the Vikings would be land Matt Kalil with the 3rd overall selection. Adding Kalil would allow the Vikings to cut Johnson, who is set to earn $2.95M in each of the next two seasons.

If Kalil is off the board, however, there isn’t an offensive lineman worthy of the 3rd overall selection. However, if Kalil is gone, that means Robert Griffin is still on the board. The  Vikings could potentially trade down with either the Redskins or Dolphins and select Riley Reiff at a more appropriate position in the 1st round, while also adding some much needed draft picks.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft, Vikings Comments Off

About the author

Ryan McCrystal

Ryan launched DraftAce in 2004. His Top 100 board is currently ranked 1st out of 20 publications in The Huddle Report's five-year averages. His mock draft is ranked 10th out of 32 competitors.You can also find Ryan's weekly Heisman Predictor series on ESPN Insider every fall.