When the Minnesota Vikings drafted offensive lineman Chris DeGeare, they knew they were getting a physically gifted lineman with a tremendous potential.
The six-foot-four 335-pound converted guard is impressing Vikings coaches in practice; so much that DeGeare is seeing plenty of action with the team’s first-team offense at right guard.
The Vikings say they are looking at Anthony Herrera at center due to the uncertainty over regular starting center John Sullivan, who has been unable to practice because of a calf injury. In fact, there is a strong possibility that Herrera can be the starting center for the regular season opener on Sept. 9 against the Saints.
It’s not like the Vikings were left with no choice but to play Herrera at center. Jon Cooper and Ryan Cook are reserve lineman who are healthy and capable of playing center.
Instead of using one of their capable reserve centers in two weeks, the coaching staff turned to potentially their sixth best offensive lineman on the roster, rookie 5th-round draft pick DeGeare. With Herrera possibly starting at center in the near future, DeGeare is getting a strong look in Herrera’s regular position, right guard.
Degeare, 23, has potential to become a long term option at guard to some day replace Herrera, 30, or current starting left guard Steve Hutchinson, 32. The Wake Forest product, a top interior offensive line recruit going into college, has played both guard and tackle in college, having versatility to play on the left or right side of the line.
It is up to DeGeare to take advantage of the opportunities given to him. The first-year lineman is off to an impressive start, but the road to his career has just begun.
Nam Huynh writes for Minnesota Sports Zone (http://www.mnsportszone.com)