When you have a former offensive line coach as a head coach and an offensive line coach doubling as offensive coordinator, there is one certainty on draft day – the Vikings were prepared when it came to taking an offensive lineman.
So it was on the second round that the team addressed its only pressing need on the offensive line by taking mammoth Marcus Johnson who at more than 6-6 and 321 pounds has the size and agility to play at tackle or guard – versatility the coaching and scouting staff took notice of.
"He wasn't the organization's top offensive line prospect, but he was my top offensive lineman," Mike Tice said. "It's rare when you have a player at this point in the draft that doesn't have any blemishes – injuries, mental problems, character issues – those types of things."
His versatility is just one of his selling points. In his college career, he started all 48 games he played and his durability has never been challenged. While he has the ability to play at least three line spots, Tice said he doesn't plan to shuttle him up and down the line.
"In the time I've been around, I've only seen one rookie that could do that," Tice said. "That was Matt Birk, but he had some special intangibles. To me, it's better off to leave a rookie in one spot and let him learn."
That spot will be left guard, where Johnson will battle for the spot vacated by Chris Liewinski. At the current time, Adam Goldberg is at the top of the depth chart and Tice said it will stay that way … for now.
"You don't ever move linemen on the depth chart until you start hitting," Tice said. "When that starts, then we will know more about where he fits in."
Versatility, Character Selling Points On Johnson
Viking Update Top Stories
Spielman: ‘Plans in place’ with contractsThe Minnesota Vikings have several important decisions ahead of them at the quarterback position, but one has apparently already been made.
Viking Update8:25 AM
Podcast: AP’s new home, reacting to SpielmanWith the draft closing in, we react to Adrian Peterson’s new home, Rick Spielman’s press conference, character issues and more.
Viking Update7:23 AM
Mock draft, Round 2, Version 3In some cases, needs remained unfilled after Round 1 of our mock draft, but Round 2 is where to make up for that. While that’s often the case, we have the Minnesota Vikings going…
Viking Update6:28 AM
Viking Update Mock Draft, Version 6With diluted drug tests and final evaluations altering the stock and risks with some players, we reshuffle the deck and offer Version 6 of our first-round mock draft.
Viking Update6:21 AM