The Vikings may not have been particularly splashy during the first waves free agency, but they did a few important moves for the roster, including the addition of guard Josh Kline.
Kline brings a string of 46 consecutive starts to Minnesota and a fresh face to the offensive line room. The Vikings also re-signed center Brett Jones, whom they acquired via a trade with the Giants last year.
The NFL Draft is fast-approaching, and Minnesota could continue to bolster its offensive line that away.
Analytics site Pro Football Focus writer Mike Johnson recently listed five NFL units “that need to be addressed” via this year’s draft, and he included the Vikings line. Johnson wrote:
As a unit, the Vikings produced a 64.0 pass-blocking grade (27th) and 53.0 run-blocking grade (25th) in 2018. The offensive line also led the NFL last season by allowing 226 total pressures on the year. Their 80.9 pass-blocking efficiency rating in 2018 ranked 29th in the NFL, and over the course of the last three seasons, they have allowed 695 total pressures, 24th among teams.
Johnson pointed out the Vikings moves with Jones and Kline as well as returning tackle Rashod Hill but opined that depth at the position should still be improved.
The other four units Johnson covered were the Chiefs secondary, Cardinals offensive line, Giants defense and the Ravens pass rush.
Jim Nantz shares anecdote from 1992 Final Four in Metrodome
A little more than a year after hosting Super Bowl LII, Minneapolis will again draw national attention this weekend when U.S. Bank Stadium hosts the 2019 Final Four.
CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz will be at the Vikings home Saturday and Monday to do play-by-play for a 29th consecutive Final Four.
He recently spoke with Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press and recalled his first experience in Minneapolis for the event, more than 25 years ago. Nantz, who joined CBS in 1985, was a top-ranked golfer and preparing for the Master’s when the Metrodome hosted the 1992 Final Four. Tomasson wrote:
Just before the start of the 1992 Final Four, [Fred] Couples and [Blaine] McCallister decided to make a last-minute trip to Minnesota for the semifinal games on Saturday featuring teams from Cincinnati, Michigan, Duke and Indiana. It didn’t matter that the Masters would start the next Thursday, an event Couples won the following weekend.
There were some initial problems with their plan. The golfers couldn’t come up with tickets to the games or a hotel room for the night.
As it turned out, tickets weren’t needed. Nantz and then-CBS analyst Billy Packer decided to turn the golfers into gofers.
“We were their runners,” Couples told Tomasson. “We sat right behind them and if they wanted a Coca-Cola or popcorn, our job was to run to the media room and get them something. They were great seats. It was so loud. It was amazing.”
Nantz said, “We’re out of the celebrity runner business,” however – so don’t expect any famous faces to be running errands for this weekend’s Final Four.