The Christian Darrisaw News is Encouraging
Lil’Kub is now the offensive coordinator for our Vikings, so he is in front of the media far more. Unsurprisingly, he was asked a variety of questions about how the offense was performing during the offseason workouts. Christian Darrisaw – Minnesota’s first round pick and frontrunner to start at LT – received praise.
“He’s exceeded expectations because he’s very bright. He puts in the work, he takes the coaching points from Coach Dennison and Rauscher. When he’s been out there, he’s taken it to the field. So, he just has to get more reps, reps are key. He’s missed a few of them, but he’s going to get them back.”
You can see Lil’Kub answer the question about Darrisaw around the 5:30 mark in the above video.
The 22-year-old LT was chosen 23rd overall in the most recent draft. He will count for just under $2.5 million against the cap this season. It’s safe to say the Vikings – and their fans – have high hopes for him. At 6’5, 314, Darrisaw certainly looks like an NFL LT.
Darrisaw is being trusted to replace Riley Reiff, a solid vet who was consistently underappreciated both in Minnesota and around the league. Mind you, Darrisaw’s value goes beyond simply being able to replace Reiff.
Because they cut Reiff and replaced him with Darrisaw, the Vikings were able to free up somewhere between $6-$8 million. That extra cap space has been put to good use. That amount is enough room for the team to have brought in Sheldon Richardson, Mackensie Alexander, and Bashaud Breeland. The question, then, is what would fans prefer: the reliable Reiff or the combo of Darrisaw, Richardson, Alexander, and Breeland? It’s pretty tough not to side with the latter.
Christian Darrisaw, in all likelihood, will be locking down the left side for the Vikings. Expect Ezra Cleveland to secure the LG spot, leaving a trio of Garrett Bradbury, Wyatt Davis, and Brian O’Neill (who deserves a big extension) at the other three starters. Rashod Hill is going to be the main backup at tackle. Fans also shouldn’t be surprised to see Dakota Dozier on the final roster given his flexibility and veteran experience. This is a really young line, so having some veteran backups makes sense.
This week, Kirk Cousins said in his press conference that the biggest factor for the young linemen was just getting more reps. Lil’Kub echoed that precise sentiment in his press conference. It’s easy to see why. Taking daily snaps against Danielle Hunter is sure to help a young LT grow.
It’s great to hear about Darrisaw’s intelligence and willingness to accept coaching. We can see from the film that he is physically gifted. Partnering these three things with some reps against arguably the best NFC North player will hopefully allow Darrisaw to shine in Year 1.