The Minnesota Vikings are approaching the biggest offseason in recent memory.
Not only do the Vikings have massive question marks at the quarterback position, their defensive front has a lot of questions. Heck, you could say they have questions just about everywhere.
Going into the heart of the offseason, the many needs of the Vikings are going to be discussed ad nauseam. What are the biggest needs for the Vikings that need to be addressed by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah? We ranked all 11 of them.
Regardless of whether or not Harrison Smith returns and your opinion of Lewis Cine, this is still a strong safety room. Both Camryn Bynum and Josh Metellus are quality starters and Theo Jackson and Jay Ward look to be quality backups and specia teams aces. Don’t be surprised if they still look at a talented player with Bynum on the final year of his contract but it’s the least of their concerns.
10. Offensive tackle
The Vikings are set at offensive tackle with Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill. What they will need to do is address the depth in the room. They have both Oli Udoh and David Quessenberry hitting free agency and they could easily bring both back, as they were capable backups.
9. Tight end
All indications currently are that the Vikings won’t have to worry about T.J. Hockenson on a long-term basis, but they might have to at the beginning of next season. Josh Oliver is under contract for two more seasons and Nick Muse is almost certain to be retained as an exclusive rights free agent. The only question mark is whether the Vikings will re-sign Johnny Mundt, who Kevin O’Connell seems to like a lot.
8. Interior offensive line
The Vikings have a starter hitting free agency is Dalton Risner along with losing depth in Chris Reed and Austin Schlottmann. It’s not a foregone conclusion that Risner re-signs, although it feels likely that the relationship he has with Chris Kuper the offensive line coach could make that happen. They will need to at the very least fortify the group with depth along wit finding a starter.
7. Wide receiver
This is a sneaky need for the Vikings. Yes, they have both Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. However, K.J. Osborn isn’t likely to be returning to the team and Jalen Nailor didn’t take the step forward that they were expecting him to. With how the Vikings prioritize using three wide receivers, having that third guy is important. With the wealth of talent in this class, taking a wide receiver high wouldn’t be the worst idea, especially if they address needs in free agency.
6. Inside linebacker
Ivan Pace Jr. was a revelation at the position this season as an undrafted rookie. He performed much better and consistent than anybody could have imagined. After him, the room has just Brian Asamoah II who barely played himself due to consistency issues. If Asamoah is ready to take a step forward, that would be a massive win for the Vikings. They do still need to address their depth with at least one free agent and draft pick.
The cornerback room isn’t destitute but it could use an influx of talent. When healthy, Byron Murphy Jr. was more than capable but there were consistency issues behind him. Considering how many young players the Vikings have at the position, it would be smarter for them to add a veteran instead. give them some higher-end talent while continuing to cultivate behind the starters.
4. Running back
Simply put, the running back room wasn’t good enough for the Vikings last season. Ty Chandler looked to be improved but the lack of consistency was an issue. Going into next season, Chandler deserves a chance to bet the top guy on a full-time basis. It would behoove the Vikings to add a back to the room that could be the top guy, as the room needs more talent.
3. Edge rusher
In a similar light to how the Vikings need to upgrade on the defensive line, edge rusher is on the same level. Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport are all free agents leaving Pat Jones II and Andre Carter II as the only edge rushers on the roster. Let’s be honest, Hunter is likely going to be returning but that still leaves a gaping hole at the position. Do the Vikings try a stop gap to pair with a developmental piece or go big to fortify the position? That will tell us a lot about how the defense will look in 2024.
2. Defensive tackle
The weakest position on the Vikings roster is defensive line. Harrison Phillips is a good football player but the Vikings need more than just him to be successful. Yes, the unit dealt with a lot of injuries, but even healthy it was one of the lesser talented units in the NFL. Adding some depth and high-end talent on the unit needs to be a priority.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody. Kirk Cousins is a free agent and could end up priced out of Minnesota due to how he likes his contract structured. If Cousins leaves, that makes it almost guaranteed that a quarterback will be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. How they handle the quarterback position will tell us a lot about how the Vikings will look moving forward.
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