Updated Vikings roster prediction after first preseason game

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 10: Sam Bradford
ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 10: Sam Bradford /
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Offensive Line

OL: Riley Reiff, Alex Boone, Nick Easton, Joe Berger, Mike Remmers, Pat Elflein, Rashod Hill, Danny Isidora, Willie Beavers, Jeremiah Sirles

Finally, the group that is causing all Vikings fans headaches, the offensive line. In fact, many believe that Minnesota is on their way to another season similar to last given the group’s struggles against Buffalo. Overall, they gave up multiple pressures and hits, including three sacks, and failed to get much going on the ground.

While starting left tackle Riley Reiff sat this one out, the starting unit performed poorly, giving up two sacks and a costly penalty. As a whole, they played three drives in an attempt to savage something positive, but nothing positive came.

Bills defensive end Eddie Yarbrough ran right by right tackle Mike Remmers for a sack, while Jerry Hughes got past Rashod Hill on another. Alex Boone, Nick Easton and Joe Berger manned the middle of the line, but they didn’t create much of anything either. Even so, they are all likely to make the roster along with Reiff.

That leaves three to four more roster spots. One is going to third round pick Pat Elflein, who has a big opportunity to start at center right away. Overall, I’d say the offensive line was better with him at center than Easton, but Elflein played against second and third stringers. Nevertheless, Elflein showed the ability to get to the second level of the defense on run plays. He also was good in pass protection, although he gave up one sack.

Aside from Elflein, Danny Isidora, Willie Beavers, and Jeremiah Sirles make the roster. Isidora’s spot seems safe as he continues to show promise at guard, while Beavers had a good day against the Bills at right tackle. Given the Vikings’ need for tackle depth, I think they keep Sirles on the team, although he was dreadful against the Bills, giving up multiple pressures and a sack.

The offensive line battles are far from over though as Zac Kerin is worthy of a backup position. T.J. Clemmings, who’s transitioning to guard, is also in the running, but he didn’t look good against the Bills either. Those two will have a tougher time making the roster considering that the depth in the interior is stronger than on the outside.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Vikings pick up a lineman on the waiver wire once cuts start to happen. They definitely could use more depth at tackle, especially if Sirles continues to struggle. Given last season’s injuries, I think keeping 10 linemen is necessary.