#5 | Alex Boone
Vikings fans were thrilled a year or so ago when the team signed free agent guard Alex Boone from San Francisco. He played at a high level for the 9ers for a few seasons and was clearly a major upgrade over what the Vikings had been playing at guard prior to that. He came in and won fans over with his brash talk, and promises of dominance. It’s too bad his play didn’t back up his mouth. Boone was a major disappointment in his first season with the Vikings. He was routinely beat, and often flagged. Boone was not the savior at left guard the team thought they were getting, and the team’s run game was basically non existent throughout the season.
Why Boone’s Performance is so Important
The Vikings biggest weakness is their offensive line. They can’t pass protect and they can’t open holes in the run game. This has to change if the team wants to make a playoff run this season. They signed free agent tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers to help, but improved play from Alex Boone would also be a major boost. Boone proved in San Francisco that he can be a nasty, physical player. He needs to get back to that in 2017. Hopefully having a talented tackle like Riley Reiff next to him will help, and Boone will form a solid bond with his new linemate. If Boone can step up his play, the Vikings ground attack can get going, and Sam Bradford will find ample time to survey the field and make legit throws.
Boone’s play is as good as his mouth. He dominates week in and week out, and the Vikings suddenly have a solid running attack. This new found run game takes pressure off Sam Bradford and the passing game and suddenly the Vikings offense becomes dangerous. They are able to sustain drives and put points on the board, making life much easier for Mike Zimmer’s defense.
Boone’s play is sub par yet again. The Vikings can’t run the ball, and they can’t protect Sam Bradford. The offense struggles to put points on the board and the team ends up losing double digit games.