How the Minnesota Vikings Would Use Dalton Risner

The Minnesota Vikings hosted Dalton Risner. How good is Risner, and what plan would the Vikings have for him if they signed him?

According to Mike Klis at 9NEWS, the Minnesota Vikings hosted Dalton Risner. Risner is a former Denver Broncos offensive lineman who played left guard while coached by former Broncos assistant offensive line coach Chris Kuper, who is now the Vikings offensive line coach.

Risner started all four seasons at the position, though he did play right tackle for three seasons at Kansas State and played a season at center as well. His versatility may mean it’s difficult to determine exactly what role the Vikings have in mind for him.

Dalton Risner Might Be One of the Top Guards in the NFL

Risner was the 10th-best guard in ESPN’s run-block win rate metric, though he earned a higher grade from Pro Football Focus as a pass blocker than a run blocker. Brandon Thorn, an offensive and defensive line analyst for his Substack Trench Warfare, ranked Risner the eighth-best left guard in the NFL, slotting him in Tier 3.

Thorn said, “Risner has good power to open up lanes in the run game with the movement skills to be a highly effective puller. His competitive toughness as a finisher makes it all come together as a plus run blocker.”

He also added that “The main concern in his game is an upright style in pass protection that allows skilled rushers to open him up and work underneath his frame quickly.”

We Don’t Know What Dalton Risner’s Deal or Role Would Be

There hasn’t been much reporting on what kind of deal Risner would be looking for. The Vikings are projected by OverTheCap to have $18 million in cap space, but Danielle Hunter’s new deal hasn’t been added to the calculations yet.

Without any details on the deal, including what impact unannounced void years may have, the Vikings could have anywhere between $6-12 million in cap space remaining.

It is possible that Risner challenges current left guard Ezra Cleveland for a spot should the Vikings sign him, but it’s equally possible he could push right guard Ed Ingram for a spot. He also provides the Vikings with versatile depth and can be moved around if need be — important for a team lacking interior depth at the moment.

It would be surprising if the Vikings signed Risner without intending to start him, but this late in the offseason, anything is possible.

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