When the Minnesota Vikings released veteran starting right guard Brandon Fusco, an opening at right guard was created and the Vikings have spent the last few months trying to determine the competition battle that will take place to be his replacement starter.
On Saturday, the team added Miami right guard Danny Isidora to the mix in the fifth round.
A three-year starter who has a nice combination of size and strength, Isidora believes his best shot to compete for a starting spot is that he has several solid traits that will serve him well at the next level.
“I think I’m a physical player,” Isidora said. “I think I’m fast. I think I understand the game. That’s really important.”
At Miami, Isidora’s physicality came into play primarily in the run game, but he isn’t selling himself short as a pass protector. He knows he has to refine his game to a certain extent, but he’s confident that he can be a solid player in both of his primary job responsibilities.
“I like run blocking and I like pass blocking, too,” Isidora said. “I think I do a good job at both.”
Nobody is going to question Isidora’s toughness. In 2015, he proved it without even knowing it.
He started all 13 games for the Hurricanes that season, but early on he started feeling pain in his left knee. He didn’t make a big deal out of it. It nagged him much of the season, but he didn’t complain. It was only after the pain didn’t subside after the season ended that he found out he had played almost the entire season with a torn left meniscus.
“It was tough,” Isidora said. “At the time, nobody knew I had a torn meniscus. It’s part of my job to go out there and play. I’m not going to complain about it. I just have to get out there, line up and do what’s best for my team.”
Considering that Fusco was a sixth-round pick out of Slippery Rock, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Isidora could win the starting job right away, just as Fusco did years earlier.
Have the Vikings told him he’s going to compete to be a rookie starter?
“They did not,” Isidora said. “But they’re excited to have me. I’m excited to be a part of the organization. They didn’t tell me where I would be playing at yet, but I’m excited to get over there and get it started.”