December 21, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Washington Football Team guard Ereck Flowers (79) runs down the field against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The Vikings used free agency to rebuild a depleted defense. They added Jordan Hicks, Harrison Phillips and Za’Darius Smith.
Now the Vikings are considering a guard in their next free agency move.
The Vikings offensive line has been a topic of discussion for years now. The last time the offensive line was objectively good was when Adrian Peterson was a Viking. That’s no surprise, as the whole offense centered on Adrian. The offensive line back then was part of the reason he was so good.
However, since then, Rick Spielman has failed to rebuild an offensive line that looked anything close to what it once was. In 2020, he made the conscious decision to bring Dakota Dozier onto the field as a 16-game starting goaltender. Yes, it’s technically the coach’s decision as to who plays, but Zimmer had to choose between Dozier, Pat Elflein and Dru Samia.
My God, do we all remember what Dru Samia looked like playing the Colts? If not, here’s a quick reminder:
Anyway, I digress.
The Vikings have a whole new regime as owner-elect to move on from Zimmer and Spielman. Now it’s up to Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell to add the pieces to the offensive line to keep Kirk Cousins on his feet.
What’s the latest buzz around Vikings Guard research?
While the Vikings have spent the majority of their free agency focusing on defense, their attention now turns to the offensive line. Some fans might be upset that it took them so long to meet the needs at center and guard position. However, the defense was, and could still be, in a much worse state.
The Vikings seem to be more interested in the guard than the center. They currently have an offer on Ryan Bates. However, that decision could take some time as the Buffalo Bills have a right of first refusal over him. All of this means that whichever offer Bates accepts (Vikings, Patriots, Bears), the Bills have a chance to match.
While fans wait for this decision, Kwesi continues to look elsewhere. VikeFans reported via Twitter that the Vikings are showing interest in Ereck Flowers..
Who is Ereck Flowers?
Ereck Flowers is a former first-round pick. He was selected 9th overall by the New York Giants in the 2015 draft as an offensive tackle. He played for the Giants for three years, but never lived up to the hype of a top-10 draft pick.
Since then, he’s bounced around the NFL. He spent a year with the Jaguars, a year with Washington, a year with the Dolphins, then back to Washington for another year. However, when he went to Washington in 2019, he went from tackle to guard.
Once Flowers learned the guard position, he started to improve, as you can see from his PFF notes:
- 2019 – 64.1
- 2020 – 65.9
- 2021 – 72.0
There will always be a learning curve when transitioning roles, but it’s encouraging to see it improving year on year.
While I’d rather land Ryan Bates, well, I’d really like JC Tretter. Ereck Flowers wouldn’t be a bad signing either. As long as the Vikings can sign him to a relatively inexpensive contract, he could be a good addition to the squad. If nothing else, it creates camp competition for Wyatt Davis.