EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Thursday announced an agreement to trade a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft (No. 223 overall) to the Cardinals in exchange for Mason Cole.
Cole has been with Arizona since 2018 when he was selected in the third round (97th overall). He has 32 NFL starts to his credit (30 as a center in 2018 and 2020 and two at left guard in 2019).
Here are five things to know about the new Vikings offensive lineman:
1. Rare company
The Cardinals turned to Cole quickly in his career, and he started all 16 games of his rookie season at center.
Cole was one of six offensive linemen in his draft class to start all 16 games in 2018, joining Will Hernandez (NYG), Mike McGlinchey (SF), Kolton Miller (Oak), Quenton Nelson (Ind) and Frank Ragnow (Det).
He also became just the fourth rookie offensive lineman in Cardinals history to start all 16 games, joining Bobbie Massie (2012), Alex Stepanovich (2004) and Leonard Davis (2001).
View photos of new Vikings OL Mason Cole who recently joined the team.
2. First and most in school history
Cole also got his feet wet early in his college career at Michigan. In 2014, he became the first true freshman offensive lineman in school history to start a season opener on the offensive line.
By the time Cole left Ann Arbor, he had set a Wolverines record among offensive linemen by starting 51 games, which tied the school record among players at any position.
3. Position versatility
Although most of his work in the NFL has been from the pivot, including 2020 when he started all 14 games he played at center, Cole has position versatility going back to his time in college.
Cole's first 25 games were opened at left tackle before he moved to Michigan's middle in 2016.
In 2019, Cole started two games at left guard, and he also took snaps as an injury replacement at right guard.
4. Highly sought in high school
Cole started 53 consecutive games in four years at East Lake High School in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
His play garnered a whopping 22 scholarship offers from colleges that included Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State and Southern Cal before choosing Michigan.
Cole has been married for a little more than a year. He and his wife, Madison, were married in Florida in February 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced and began reshaping and rescheduling events from coast to coast.