While we were all waiting for the Timberwolves to make a move before the NBA trade deadline, the Minnesota Vikings just busted into the room to steal the show. They desperately need help on the offensive line and Rick Spielman just took his first swing of the offseason at addressing the weakness that has plagued the Vikings since the early 2010’s. The latest experiment is Mason Cole, who comes via trade from the Arizona Cardinals for a 6th round pick. He’s expected to start at one of the guard positions, likely on the left side.
He started all 16 games as a rookie at center, was a back-up OL in 2019 with two starts at left guard and started 14 games at center last year. The Vikings have an opening at left guard, not center where Bradbury is. You'd have to imagine they're bringing him in to compete there. https://t.co/N4ccNK5Uw8— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) March 25, 2021
Mason Cole will fit right in with the current talent on the Minnesota offensive line. He moves well and struggles in pass blocking. His PFF grade is a very average 54.4 and none of this should be a surprise because that’s the type of return you can expect for a sixth round pick.
Cole is young (turns 25 this weekend) and was drafted in 2018 (#97 overall) so it’s possible he could come in and develop into a solid o-lineman. But let’s be honest… the Vikings don’t have the best track record in that department. Still, he’s been in the Cliff Kingsbury zone-run system so his fit makes sense.
At some point, however, you have to protect Kirk Cousins. Especially after letting his blindside blanket, Riley Reiff, go in free agency.
I sure hope Rick knows what he’s doing.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan