Anthony Herrera is another guy I have a lot of respect for. If you could combine his heart and effort with the size and God-given ability of Bryant McKinnie, the results would encroach upon Chuck Norris-like invincibility.
I wish I could put McKinnie on this list, but he provides mostly solid production on talent alone. Sorry Vikings fans, he's not No. 1 on this list—his starter status is in no real danger.
Herrera gets every last ounce out of his limited ability, but he's a backup-caliber talent. Into next season he'll face challenges internally, externally, medically and financially.
The Vikings like what they saw out of second-year man Chris DeGeare last season, and at 6'4", 335 lbs., he dwarfs the 6'2", 315 lb. Herrera. He'll get a shot.
The Vikings are also likely to address the offensive line early in the draft, and either a guard or tackle may spell doom for Herrera. It's been speculated that if the Vikings go with a tackle at No. 12, McKinnie could be shifted to the right side and current right tackle Phil Loadholt could slide inside to guard, pinching Herrera out of the starting lineup.
Keep an eye out for tackles Tyron Smith (USC), Nate Solder (Colorado), Anthony Castonzo (Boston College), and Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin). In the second-round, guards Danny Watkins (Baylor), Benjamin Ijalana (Villanova) and Clint Boling (Georgia) could all be instant upgrades at right guard.
To make matters worse, Herrera's coming off ACL and triceps surgeries and his $2.65 million contract is on the high side, putting his roster spot on uneven ground.
As noted earlier, Herrera's best chance to stick may be to heal up and get comfortable at center, where he'd be an upgrade over John Sullivan.