In his second position battle spot, Daniel House believes there could be a shakeup among the alignment of the offensive guards.
Yesterday, I took a closer look at the running back position, which brought forth a ton of questions regarding the third running back spot. Today, I will analyze a guard position that was quietly upgraded in the draft this year.
Johnson was signed two years ago during training camp and was initially meant to play left tackle, but was converted to left guard last season when Matt Kalil was drafted. He was a key piece of Adrian Peterson's success last season, but struggled at moments, especially in pass protection. You may be surprised, but I believe that Charlie's job may be in danger if players like Travis Bond and Jeff Baca impress during training camp.
The Vikings used Brandon Fusco as a starter last season and we saw growing pains at moments. He isn't the best pass blocker and struggles in zone blocking. He is in his second season and hopefully developed during the offseason. I believe the Vikings are more willing to keep Fusco in hopes he will develop even more in his second season as a starter. He is a proven run blocker and has great size and skill, but is very raw in many facets.
Bond is quietly a sleeper heading into the training camp and could find his way in the starting rotation of the offensive line. He was drafted in the 7th round and actually received a middle round grade from draft analysts like Mike Mayock. The North Carolina guard, is a vintage run blocker and a "pile-driver." He is very mobile for his 329 pound frame and has soft hands in pass protection. He does tend to be slow at times and bends at the waist, causing pressure in the backfield. If he can show any flash of potential, he will make the roster and has the chance to pressure Fusco or Johnson for their job.
Baca is the rotational offensive lineman and was one of the few players to enter the NFL with experience at all positions among the offensive line. He is known for being smart and understands blitzes and coverage's very well. He is very aggressive and tends to be too much at times, which has caused problems in his time at UCLA. The Vikings drafted Baca in the 6th round and once again analysts placed middle round grades on his skills. I see Baca filling in for former guard Geoff Schwartz, as the rotational backup among all offensive line positions.
Olsen saw time with the Vikings in training camp and was on the practice squad for a short stint in 2010. He found himself in Indianapolis last season as a backup and started several games when injuries plagued the Colts offensive line. Olsen has appeared in 14 games in his career and started five games over the last two seasons. He is a very nice depth option and could challenge any of the players on this list for a roster spot. An Iowa native, Olsen has proven his hard work in the past and is a legitimate option among the Vikings offensive line.
Next Up....#1 To Be Announced Later
#4- Wide Receivers
#3- Running Backs