Where the Vikings Need to Enhance Their Roster

Where the Vikings Need to Enhance Their Roster
Feb 28, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo‐Mensah during the NFL combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The deadline for teams in the NFL to cut their roster down to 53 has been and gone.

Where the Vikings Need to Enhance Their Roster

The Vikings got there with a few slight surprises, like veteran CB Joejuan Williams, rookie RB DeWayne McBride, and OLB Luiji Vilain not making the roster. There’s still time for teams to make changes, and with many players becoming available, changes are likely across the league. The depth chart shows some obvious places where the Vikings need to add to their roster.

Where the Vikings Need to Add to Their Roster

One of the areas that needed attention was dealt with immediately with the news on Wednesday morning that the Vikings were signing veteran running back Myles Gaskin following his release by the Miami Dolphins. Gaskin brings a veteran presence to the Vikings RB room. Jalen Reagor was the man to make way. Despite a solid preseason, he now heads to waivers. Other areas of the team that need the most consideration are the offensive line and cornerback. 

the Vikings Need
Aug 19, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell looks on during the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings currently only have eight linemen on the roster, where you might expect them to carry nine. The versatility of the players they have could see them stay with eight. Oli Udoh and Blake Brandel can cover tackle and guard, while Austin Schlottman can cover center and guard. Do the Vikings want to use that versatility to create space elsewhere, for example, the six safeties they currently have, or do they bring in another tackle? Adding to the line would seem the obvious answer, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they stuck with just the eight guys.

The release of Williams surprised me and left the Vikings CB room looking very youthful. That, of course, has its advantages but also its disadvantages. The Vikings are crying out for some experience at cornerback. That should be the priority if the Vikings want to make a big move, whether that’s a notable free agent or making a trade.

Williams later rejoined the Vikings on the 2023 practice squad.

Who’s Available?

Several cornerbacks are available that the Vikings could look at. Desmond King was top of my list, but the Pittsburgh Steelers swooped in not long after being released by the Houston Texans. Former Philadelphia Eagle Greedy Williams is the next best available. If the Vikings can make a trade for someone who competes to start on the outside, that would be ideal.

Aug 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Cleveland Browns cornerback Greedy Williams (26) during the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports.

There are a lot of veteran tackles who would make an adequate backup. The Vikings can take their pick if they want to do that. The other option is to stick with eight on the roster and find some solid guys to sit on the practice squad.

The defensive line is the final area of the roster with some question marks. The Vikings are relying on Khyiris Tomga as their only real nose tackle, unless they use Harrison Phillips there, which then leads to a big hole in his position. Upgrading Jonathan Bullard at the DE position could solve that issue. Tonga showed promise towards the end of last season but only has four career starts to his name. Like so much of this year’s Vikings defense, so much depends on young/inexperienced players. If the Vikings don’t sign someone to the active roster as backup, they certainly need one on the practice squad.

Tweaks For Success

Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah looks on during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

At this stage, no team that expects to be competitive should be making huge changes – and all signs point to the Vikings hoping to be competitive. Minor tweaks to the roster that fill holes and round out the squad as best as you can are the order of the day.

A couple more good signings can be the difference between success and failure. It’s time for Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to earn his money.