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Why it might be wise for the Vikings to avoid O-line with their first pick

Should Minnesota go best player available or take an offensive lineman no matter what?
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The Vikings will find out Friday if their first selection in the NFL Draft is No. 46 or 47. It's a second-round pick that most experts think the Vikings should use to improve an offensive line that proved to be one of the worst in the league last season.

But taking the best player available might be the better way to go, especially since the one glaring weakness of this year's draft is offensive line, according to The MMQB.

In addition, the last 10 NFL Drafts have produced only 15 offensive linemen with picks 40-49.

  • 2007: Tony Ugoh (Colts)
  • 2008: none
  • 2009: Max Unger (Seahawks)
  • 2010: Zane Beadles (Broncos)
  • 2011: Orlando Franklin (Broncos), Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders), Ben Ijalana (Colts)
  • 2012: Amini Silatolu (Panthers), Cordy Glenn (Bills), Jonathan Martin (Dolphins), Jeff Allen (Chiefs)
  • 2013: Menelik Watson (Raiders)
  • 2014: Weston Richburg (Giants), Cyrus Kouandjio (Bills)
  • 2015: Mitch Morse (Chiefs)
  • 2016: Jason Spriggs (Packers)

Here's how each of them have done:

  • Ugoh: flamed out after four years in the league
  • Unger: 2-time All-Pro and still going strong
  • Beadles: 16 starts in six straight years; Pro Bowl in 2012
  • Franklin: started every game he's ever played in
  • Wisniewski: solid starter for the Raiders
  • Ijalana: career backup before starting 13 games last season
  • Silatolu: career backup
  • Glenn: started every game he's ever played in
  • Martin: hasn't played since 2014
  • Allen: started 14 games with the Texans last season
  • Watson: career backup so far
  • Richburg: one of the best centers in the NFL
  • Kouandjio: only plays when a starter gets hurt
  • Morse: started 31 games in two years with the Chiefs
  • Spriggs: started two games in Green Bay as a rookie

Guys like Unger, Beadles, Glenn and Richburg are home runs while plenty of others are busts.

It's the draft, so of course it's hit or miss. But considering the perceived lack of depth at O-line, this feels like a year where a team is more likely to miss on a lineman.

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