Opinion

Ryan Kerrigan and Dede Westbrook Would Be Good Additions For the Vikings

It has been a very busy offseason for the Minnesota Vikings.

General Manager Rick Spielman signed Dalvin Tomlinson, Stephen Weatherly, Nick Vigil, Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander and Xavier Woods in free agency and drafted 11 players.

The offseason is still not over yet though. They currently have 84 players on the roster and need to get to 90 before training camp.

Good news is they still have enough to spend. They currently are $7.6 million under the salary cap and will have an extra $7.94 million after June 1 due to having Kyle Rudolph’s contract off the books.

The Vikings are reportedly interested in defensive end Ryan Kerrigan and wide receiver Dede Westbrook.

Both would be welcoming additions to a roster that is already loaded with talent.

Kerrigan has spent his entire 10-year career with Washington after being drafted 16th overall out of Purdue. The four-time Pro Bowler has only missed four career games and has notched 95.5 sacks. He is no longer the same player, but can still play. He added 5.5 sacks in each of the previous two seasons. The Vikings pass rush could have definitely used him last season.

Last season he only started in one game. He would no doubt be the starter in Minnesota along with Danielle Hunter, Michael Pierce and Tomlinson. He would greatly benefit from having them taking extra blockers away from him. He would also be a good help to youngsters D.J. Wonnum, Patrick Jones II and Janarius Robinson.

Westbrook missed 14 games last season due to a torn ACL, but when when healthy he is not only a good wide receiver, but also a good punt returner. The previous two seasons he had 66 receptions each and a combined eight touchdowns. Having Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen taking defenders away from him would be a big plus, along with Keenan McCardell once again being his position coach. Kirk Cousins is also better than any quarterback he had before.

In 2018, Westbrook returned 19 punts for 266 yards, including a 74-yarder for a touchdown. The Vikings not only failed to get good production from Chad Beebe and Olabisi Johnson at receiver, but also good returns from both Beebe and K.J. Osborn. He would fill two needs immediately even though he is coming off an ACL tear. Ihmir Smith-Marsette was drafted in the fifth round (157th overall) and could perhaps pan out, but making him the third receiver immediately would not be a smart decision. Beebe and Johnson would make good fourth or fifth wide receivers, but not third.

The Vikings may not end up with Kerrigan and Westbrook or even one of them, but if they land both it will certainly help this team and make their offseason even better.

This roster is mostly set. They need another defensive end and wide receiver. Whether the offensive line performs or not is still yet to be determined, but they did add both Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis in the draft. Overall this roster is very talented. Maybe too early to say they will be Super Bowl contenders, but a good draft class along with adding Kerrigan and Westbrook could perhaps make that a possibility.

Who thought they would go 13-3 and reach the NFC Championship in 2017 when both Sam Bradford and Dalvin Cook were lost for the season? Very unpredictable league.

Ali Siddiqui

Ali Siddiqui joined Vikings Territory right before the start of the 2020 season. He also has been writing for The Viking Age since 2018. You can follow him on twitter @asiddiqui15.

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FgoT
FgoT
1 month ago

I would add an OG to the list of needs as well. Cleveland was horrible last year so you’re banking on a big improvement this year and that Davis is NFL ready day 1. That’s a bit of a gamble if you ask me. Westbrook and Kerrigan would be great fits.

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