9 Bold Summer Predictions for the Vikings

Feb 12, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, US; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) against the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

VikingsTerritory writers were asked to provide one single bold summer prediction apiece for the 2023 Minnesota Vikings. These are those.

Each writer somehow came up with a different selection — a totally random outcome.

9 Bold Summer Predictions for the Vikings

The Vikings put rookie minicamp in the rearview last weekend, setting sights on mandatory minicamp for all players on June 13th. Then, July brings training camp, and the preseason has three games in August.

Here are the VikingsTerritory writers’ bold summer predictions.

1. A New Punt Returner

9 Bold Summer
Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandon Powell (19) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Adam New

Brandon Powell beats out Jalen Reagor as the Vikings punt returner and wide receiver depth option alongside Jalen Nailor — leaving Minnesota the problem of Reagor’s almost $2.5 million guaranteed money to swallow.

2. Vikings Will Sign CB Marcus Peters

Oct 9, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) enters the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Ali Siddiqui

Peters is no longer the same player he once was, but he can still play. He won’t cost too much, and the Vikings still need cornerbacks. Outside of Byron Murphy, they are very unproven at corner.

3. A Trade for an Opening-Day Starter

Ranking the Vikings' Needs Prior to Free Agency
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.

Prediction Maker = Cole Smith

A big and bold summer Vikings prediction? Kwesi Adofo-Mensah swings a trade for an opening-day starter prior to training camp. With the Za’Darius Smith trade, the team has some salary cap space and could stand to add more talent to one of the worst defenses in the league.

4. Ivan Pace Emerges as a Starting LB

Sep 24, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (0) runs onto the field prior to the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker =
Dustin Baker

The objective of the exercise is to be bold — not just Jordan Addison wins WR2.

So, let’s roll with a Pace emergence. The only knock on the guy is ‘size,’ and if you’ve ever met smaller athletes in real life, they’re like pitbull-shark hybrids seeking to destroy you — chip-on-shoulder stuff.

Pace ascends a rather anonymous Vikings linebacker room and brings this to fruition:

5. Vikings Add Veteran EDGE Rusher

Oct 30, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd (54) during the second half of an NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction Maker = Kyle Joudry

Before training camp arrives, the Vikings add a veteran pass rusher to help fortify the EDGE spot. Hunter and Davenport are great, but both have injury concerns. Keep an eye on someone like Leonard Floyd — who won a Super Bowl with Kevin O’Connell in Los Angeles — as someone who may be a worthwhile addition.

6. DeWayne McBride Earns RB1 Gig

Nov 13, 2021; Huntington, West Virginia, USA; UAB Blazers running back DeWayne McBride (22) celebrates after running for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction Maker = Janik Eckardt

The Vikings turn to a true running back committee after the eventual Dalvin Cook trade, but rookie DeWayne McBride impresses in training camp and claims the starting spot.

7. Tay Gowan Makes the 53-Man Roster

Image Courtesy of Tay Gowan on Twitter.

Prediction Maker = Josh Frey

Tay Gowan makes the 53-man roster this year. After being selected in the 6th Round of the 2021 Draft, Gowan has bounced around the league a bit before landing on the Vikings practice squad to finish the 2022 season. However, he played well in a short stint with the Eagles and should get another chance to provide depth for the Vikings in 2023.

8. Nobody Misses Dalvin Cook

There Is a Dalvin Cook Plot Twist
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (4) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Ted Schwerzler

Dalvin Cook won’t be missed. He’s a fan favorite, but he produced a career-worst type of season last year, and Mattison has been a dude for a while. The offense will be fine without him.

9. Vikings Sign OLB Frank Clark

Super Bowl 57
Jan 29, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark (55) reacts after a play against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second quarter of the AFC Championship game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker = Mitch Massman

The Vikings sign veteran pass rusher Frank Clark to a one-year deal. The Vikings are not necessarily ‘desperate’ for another pass rusher, but adding a quality player like Frank Clark would be massive to replace Za’Darius Smith. A one-year deal for $10-12 million.

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 Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.