The Minnesota Vikings have the luxury of keeping its starting offensive line intact.
However, the Vikings cannot completely comfortable with at least one spot.
Right guard Brandon Fusco had a roller coaster season last year, his first as a full-time starter. He should improve his consistency in year two as a starter.
Charlie Johnson and John Sullivan are firmly entrenched in the starting lineup at left guard and center, respectively.
Johnson will shift to left tackle when need be.
The top reserve is Joe Berger. The seven-year veteran will be the backup at left guard and center. Right now he is probably the first backup at right guard as well.
The competition for other reserve spots are Seth Olsen and the group of unproven players battle for backup tackle spots.
Olsen is a former Iowa Hawkeye that was previously with the Vikings’ practice squad in 2010. He played just 11 games over the last seasons, but had four starts last year.
The Vikings should select an interior offensive lineman in the middle rounds of the draft.
No. 1 – Chance Warmack, Alabama
NFL.com grade: 95.9
Analysis: He is a strong, physical, dominating guard. He is one of the best players in the draft and is expected to be selected in the top 10 – even though he plays a position that generally does not grade out very high. He will be a starter from day one.
No. 2 – Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
NFL.com grade: 86.9
Analysis: He is strong and athletic with a lot more positive attributes than negative. He is one of the most athletic offensive linemen in draft. He is very good at working as a lead blocker and pass protector. He needs to add bulk and strength, but it is a nitpicking negative to his game.
No. 3 – Kyle Long, Oregon
NFL.com grade: 77.0
Analysis: He is the son of Howie Long and brother of Chris Long. He is an athletic offensive lineman with good size. With more experience, he could be very good at any position along the offensive line. He played just one year for the Ducks after transferring in from Junior College. Before that he tried baseball at Florida State University.
No. 4 – Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
NFL.com grade: 78.7
Analysis: He didn’t put up the most impressive numbers at the combine, but he was a very good contributor to the Badgers his entire career. He has the toughness, size and polished skills to be an early draft pick.
No. 5 – Matt Summers-Gavin, California
NFL.com grade: 72.7
Analysis: He is a competitor with good technique. He has the athleticism and intelligence to excel in a zone blocking scheme. He needs to add bulk and strength and relies more on his technique than power. He has the versatility to play inside or outside.
Overrated – Larry Warford, Kentucky
NFL.com grade: 88.3
Analysis: He is moving up draft boards, despite putting up less than impressive numbers at the combine. He is a space-eater. He is not very athletic and does’t react very well to defensive tackles that get into his legs. The Wildcats could not run behind him or have him pull to lead the way around the edge.
Underrated – Barrett Jones, Alabama
NFL.com grade: 71.7
Analysis: He anchored the Crimson Tide offensive line for a few seasons. He can play any spot on the offensive line, but projects as a guard due to his limited athleticism. He doesn’t have the eye popping numbers some of the prospects put up, but he just makes things happen.
Sleeper – Lamar Mady, Youngstown State
NFL.com grade: 54.5
Analysis: He is very strong with solid athleticism. He did not face a lot of NFL-caliber talent at the FCS level, but could develop into an NFL starter. It may not be for a couple years, but a patient team will be happy with he becomes.