The Vikings have scheduled a predraft visit with Northern Iowa offensive tackle Chad Rinehart, according to a league source. The exact date of the visit isn't known, but the Vikings are known to have several visits set up for Wednesday and Thursday this week.
Rinehart is the only offensive lineman VikingUpdate.com and Scout.com have been able to uncover visiting the Vikings this month.
Rinehart played left tackle most of his career at UNI, but he also played guard at the Senior Bowl in January. He likely would project to a guard in the NFL, according to former longtime NFL scout Tom Marino, now with Scout.com.
"Not impressive from a physical standpoint but was technically sound, very tough and understands the game," Marino wrote in his evaluation of Rinehart. "Would project down inside to a guard position. Has a good understanding of angles and he wasn't on the ground a great deal. Good to scoop, but wasn't real efficient at the second level. Is a journeyman player who gives you some versatility and experience. Not a supple, easy-moving athlete. Solid mid to late second-day selection."
Marino placed a fifth- to seventh-round value on Rinehart, who measures at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds.
Rinehart compiled numerous awards during his tenure with the Panthers, including first-team All-America (2007), second-team All-American (2006), first-team All-Gateway Conference (2005-2007), first-team All-Northwest Region (2006) and second-team All-Northwest Region (2005).
He started all 13 games at left tackle in 2007 and was named to ESPN the Magazine's academic all-district squad, which coincides with the high marks Marino gave him for intelligence. In 2007, the Panthers were 11-0 in the regular season and the top-ranked team nationally for six weeks. The UNI rushing offense also ranked 15th nationally and its total offense ranked seventh nationally with 457.3 yards per game.
In 2006, Rinehart started all 11 games at left tackle and was a second-team All-America selection, helping the Panthers to the No. 4-ranked offense in the nation. He also started all 15 games at left tackle in 2005.
The Vikings' starters on the offensive line are likely set, but they may look to draft an offensive lineman as protection against a potential suspension of left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including felony aggravated battery, following a fight outside a Miami nightclub in February.
Offensive Lineman to Visit Vikings
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