Vikings Preseason Hero Now a Part of Top 5 NFL Defense

Vikings Preseason Hero Now a Part of Top 5 NFL Defense
Nov 21, 2022; Mexico City, MEX; San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle T.Y. McGill (96) tackles Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) during the second quarter at Estadio Azteca. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings fans have long memories, and a former member of the defensive roster is seeing some action out west.

That’s T.Y. McGill, a defensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers. Gradually, the 30-year-old is getting intermixed in the 49ers defense.

McGill played for the Vikings in 2021, a free-agent depth addition who eventually saw action in two regular season games. He played 33 defensive snaps for the 2021 brand of Vikings.

Aug 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle T.Y. McGill. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Fast forward to the 2022 preseason, and McGill performed marvelously in the Vikings first two exhibition games against the Las Vegas Raiders and 49ers. He was injured in the final game and was expected to miss a few weeks. But preseason production be damned, the Vikings released McGill with an injury designation soon after.

He found his way to San Francisco in October, hopping back and forth from the team’s practice squad and active roster. It seems, though, McGill has settled on the gameday roster and is making an impact. He played 19 snaps last weekend during a 49ers shutout of the New Orleans Saints. Overall, McGill has been in the defensive lineup for 55 snaps in four games and appears poised to remain on the active roster. He has a 65.0 grade from Pro Football Focus, while San Francisco boasts the NFL’s fourth-best defense through 12 weeks per EPA/Play.

In the summer, CBS Sports published an article called “things we learned” around the NFL in the preseason, and McGill’s rise to prominence was mentioned by author Jordan Dajani. He wrote about McGill, “Something that stood out to me was T.Y. McGill. He had five total tackles and 1.5 sacks this weekend after recording two sacks last week. McGill looks like he has a high motor. If he doesn’t win on his initial move, he will just keep pushing until he breaks through.”

Nov 21, 2022; Mexico City, MEXICO; San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle T.Y. McGill (96) applies pressure to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Ergo, the 49ers got the memo, whereas the Vikings preferred current defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard for “McGill’s spot.”

McGill has been a part of 10 NFL franchises since joining the NFL seven years ago. An undrafted free agent in 2015, McGill was discovered by the Seattle Seahawks but found his on-the-field footing with the Indianapolis Colts. In 2022, McGill might just be a late bloomer.

The 49ers host the Miami Dolphins this weekend as Miami head coach Mike McDaniel faces his former team for the first time.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).