The Minnesota Vikings have announced that they’ve signed guard Kaleb Johnson after putting guard Nick Easton on injured reserve following a neck injury.
Johnson has been in the league since 2015, when he joined the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent from Rutgers. He’s played 528 snaps in three preseasons per Pro Football Focus and gave up four sacks, two hits and 11 hurries in 337 pass blocking reps, a pass blocking efficiency that would rank about in the middle among all guards over one season.
He measured 6-foot-4, 303 pounds at his pro day, but his athleticism profile doesn’t showcase the overall athletic ability the Vikings have traditionally acquired at the position — though they don’t have a lot of choices this late in the offseason. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com described him as a “zone-scheme guard with desired foot quickness but lacks the leg drive to wash defenders out of play and open gaps rather than simply engage and stalemate.”
He’s a smaller player with quickness and nastiness but lacks the on-field strength to move defenders. He also struggles with balance issues that he offsets with some technical ability to stay in position.
The Vikings have been moving players around on the offensive line to deal with a spat of injuries on the interior, and this move may lead to corresponding position changes further up the depth chart.