The Minnesota Vikings sport an offense with impressive playmakers like Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Irv Smith Jr., and of course the great Dalvin Cook. If I know anything, then I know that the Vikings are the epitome of a run first team. When you are pounding the rock at the rate of the Vikings the most important thing you need is obviously a great running back which they have but the run game is only as good as it’s weakest link on the offensive line and for the last few years that was former left tackle Reilly Reiff. Reiff was a great pass blocker but the man could not hold up in the run game if his life depended on it. The Vikings run game became dependent on the right side of the line to pull the load and when you are one dimensional in that way, defenses can shift the strong side of their alignment to the right and this offense becomes predictable. When you take into consideration the greatness of Dalvin Cook and the Vikings run game in the last few years despite running such a high percentage of plays to the right side, it is truly exciting to think about what they can do with an upgrade at the left tackle spot.
With the 23rd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft the Vikings selected left tackle Christian Darrisaw out of Virginia Tech. This was a steal at pick 23 to say the least and was the best case scenario for Minnesota. Darrisaw is an absolute bull dozer in the run game and will be serving pancakes left and right early on in his career. Now that the Vikings have not just a viable option but a wrecking ball on the left side of the line the possibilites in the run game are endless. The addition of Darrisaw opens the possibility for back door blocks, slip blocks, kickout blocks, backside cut offs, and the ability to kick out the front side edge off the left side which they just couldn’t do with Reilly Reiff. The new found strength on the left side will neutralize defenses now that they don’t know which side to load. I could see Dalvin Cook putting up 2,000+ yards and being put in the OPOY and maybe even MVP talks in a scheme that finally gives him flexibility. Possibly the best pick of the draft right here by the Vikings.