The Minnesota Vikings did a lot of work in free agency this offseason to improve their offensive line. They signed offensive guard Alex Boone and offensive tackle Andre Smith, while also re-signing offensive tackle Carter Bykowski and offensive guard/tackle Mike Harris.
The team seems to be making a statement that they are still not satisfied, though, as they have hosted multiple linemen for their top-30 visits. One of those linemen was Germain Ifedi, according to DraftInsider.net.
Ifedi has experience playing both guard and right tackle in college and should be able to transition into either at the next level. There was hope that he would be able to slide over and take over the left tackle spot for his team, but that never really happened.
Vikings’ needs: Their offensive line struggled mightily last season, allowing 45 sacks – tied for eighth most in the NFL. Both head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman stressed the importance of strengthening the line this offseason and did so by bringing in a number of free agents that have been proven starters in the NFL.
The problem is that a lot of the offensive linemen the Vikings have on their roster are in the later part of their careers, so adding a player like Ifedi would allow the team to prepare for the future.
Measurables: Ifedi comes in at 6-foot-6, 324 pounds and he just looks like an NFL offensive lineman. He also has good arm length (36 inches) and good hand size (10¾ inches), which should help him handle edge rushers if he were to play tackle at the next level.
He had a good workout at the NFL Scouting Combine but didn’t really blow anyone away with the numbers he put up. Ifedi recorded a 5.27-second 40-yard dash, 4.75-second 20-yard short shuttle, 109-inch broad jump and 24 reps of the 225-pound bench press. He chose to sit on all of those numbers at his pro day workout.
Analysis: Ifedi is surprisingly athletic for his size. He has the quickness and maneuverability to handle a speed rusher trying to get around the edge, but he also has the strength to handle a bull rusher trying to come up the middle. He has also shown the ability to quickly get up to the second level and open up extra holes for his running back.
The biggest knock against Ifedi is that he is oftentimes caught leaning or lunging when trying to make blocks and that could really spell trouble if facing an experience defensive end in the NFL. They will be able to see that when watching tape and really expose him and be able to get after the quarterback with ease.
He is often too complacent with just blocking an opponent instead of completely dominating him at the point of attack. However, he does play with a lot of nastiness, so fixing that part of his game shouldn’t be too hard.
A lot of scouts wished Ifedi would have stayed in school for his senior year instead of entering the draft a year early. If he had, and was able to clean up on some of his technical problems, he probably would have been considered a first-round pick in 2017. Instead, he chose to leave school early and is now viewed as a second-round pick.