Selected 23rd overall in last year’s draft, Darrisaw, recovering from a groin injury, came along slowly for the Vikings in his rookie year, starting in 10 of the team’s final 12 games last season.
Darrisaw still has a long way to go in his development if he’s going to fit the bill as the franchise’s next left tackle, but Minnesota has not been coy in touting what they believe they have in the Virginia Tech product, comparing him to a potential future Hall of Famer.
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Vikings Continue to Compare Darrisaw to Trent Williams
As national media reporters are making their training camp rounds, the Vikings are pushing some high praise onto Darrisaw.
On August 5, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported out of Vikings training camp that Minnesota “sees shades of Trent Williams” in Darrisaw, who has “a chance to make a significant leap this year.”
Two days later, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, making his round to Vikings training camp, delivered the same message from the new regime.
“They think [Darrisaw] is going to be really, really good. It seems to me, based on the people I’ve spoken with, he’s already exceeded the expectations of those who’re already on the staff. The comparison I get here — no one is saying that Darrisaw is him right now — but Trent Williams,” Rapoport reported on August 7.
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Williams, drafted fourth overall by the Washington Commanders in the 2010 draft, has carved out a Hall of Fame-worthy career — making nine consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from 2012 to 2021.
Darrisaw will have a chance to work with Williams when the San Francisco 49ers visit TCO Performance Center in Eagan for joint practices with the Vikings. Darrisaw, like Williams, possesses immense size, at 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds, and athleticism that eventually led to Williams reaching Pro Bowl status by his third season in the league.
Darrisaw may be well on his way there.
Vikings Rank Inside Top-20 O-Lines for the 1st Time in 5 Years
As the youngest member of the Vikings offensive line, Darrisaw’s development has inspired some hope for a position group that’s struggled for the past decade.
PFF lead draft analyst Mike Renner published his preseason offensive line rankings on June 13 and ranked the Vikings 19th in the league — the highest preseason ranking Minnesota has had since ranking 14th ahead of the 2017 season.
While there are still concerns in the offensive interior, Darrisaw bookending the offensive line with Brian O’Neill has raised the floor of a once abysmal offensive front in Minnesota.
“Darrisaw got off to a late start to his rookie year due to a preseason injury. He ended up playing in 11 games and posted a 71.8 PFF grade over that span, ranking 20th of 39 qualifying left tackles,” PFF’s Anthony Treash wrote at the regular season’s conclusion in January. “The first-round pick’s run-blocking stood out in particular — Darrisaw posted a 77.2 grade in that facet. Not only is that the sixth-best among left tackles for the 2021 season, but it’s also the fourth-best by a rookie at the position in the last decade. Needless to say, the future looks promising for the Virginia Tech product.”