Vikings Must Address 3 Positions to Compete for Super Bowl

The Vikings 2022 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 12
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Following a 13-4 season, including the NFC North division title, the Vikings want to replicate that success but take the next step in the 2023 season and add some postseason wins. It will be the second season under the reign of head coach Kevin O’Connell.

The Vikings lost some players in the offseason, which created big roster holes that need to be addressed to be competitive in a potentially improved NFC North and with teams like the San Francisco 49ers and the Philadelphia Eagles. A trio of positions requires some extra attention.

Vikings Must Address 3 Positions to Compete for Super Bowl

The Vikings already fixed some of the roster holes in free agency by re-signing center Garrett Bradbury, backup quarterback Nick Mullens, and kicker Greg Joseph. In addition to that, the team added four external free agents, but some issues remain. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can either sign another free agent to fix them or wait until the draft.

Wide Receiver

The second option in the passing game, Adam Thielen, was released from the team before the beginning of free agency. Justin Jefferson is arguably the top receiver in the game, and no receiving corps with him is a bad one. However, contending teams need a secondary wideout who can feast if the defense throws double teams at the top guy.

Vikings Must Address 3 Positions to Compete for Super Bowl
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The Vikings currently lack someone who can do that. Whenever the defense had success against Jefferson in 2022, the team struggled to move the ball.

The Vikings need another guy who can win one-on-one against defenders, consistently get open, and draw some attention away from Jefferson. Players like Odell Beckham Jr., D.J. Chark, and Mecole Hardman could truly unlock the offense.

To this point, the Vikings have only signed Josh Oliver on offense, a tight end. That could lead to some more usage of 12-personnel in the upcoming season and a more prominent role for T.J. Hockenson in the passing game, but another outside weapon would increase the flexibility and the potential of the offense, which is important, especially because the offense is a stronger unit compared to the defense in Minnesota.


The coverage group in Minnesota has been a nightmare ever since Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes departed in 2020. In the last three seasons, starting cornerbacks included players like Cordrea Tankersley, Holton Hill, Chris Jones, and Harrison Hand. The Vikings desperately need to fix that position group in the 2020s pass-first league.

Radar Detail about
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In free agency, the purple team has already added one of the top available cornerbacks to their room when they signed Byron Murphy, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals. He will be CB1 in Brian Flores’ defense, but teams require two cornerbacks on the outside and another in the slot. Minnesota doesn’t have a slot cornerback under contract.

Besides Murphy, the Vikings currently employ Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth Jr., Tay Gowan, and Kalon Barnes. Evans and Booth are promising young players who could turn into quality cornerbacks in the future, but the Vikings need a backup plan if they don’t make the necessary jump and sign a couple of veterans in free agency who could step in. Last year’s starter Duke Shelley is still available. A bad cornerback group makes the required defensive turnaround under Flores impossible.

Defensive Tackle

2021 free agent signing Dalvin Tomlinson departed after two years with the organization and signed a huge deal with the Cleveland Browns. He was the top defensive lineman of the purple team, a team that needs help at the position.

2 Moves Kickstart
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Harrison Phillips, a free-agent addition in 2022, returns as a starter. He is a decent interior lineman. Next to him, the Vikings could start new signing Dean Lowry who came over from the Packers, and Khyiris Tonga could play a significant role after an outstanding season in a limited sample size.

However, while all three are solid players, none of them is a real disruptor, someone who can ruin the opposing gameplan because he lives in the backfield and regularly blows up running plays and pushes the center into the quarterback.

They can do that occasionally, but an upgrade, a truly feared leader of the position group, can turn the Vikings into a contender. Those guys aren’t available in this stage of free agency, but the team can add another decent player who can strengthen the rotation or invest picks in the draft to find that top guy.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt