Who Is the Vikings Best Addition?

Offseason Is Different
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine the Week of February 27th. The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

It’s a busy offseason for Vikings fans who had to see many meaningful contributors of recent years leave. The most prominent departures were Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, and Dalvin Tomlinson.

The Vikings have added six players in free agency to this point, in addition to re-signing many own free agents. Receiver and return specialist Brandon Powell and linebacker Troy Reeder were the latest new arrivals. Both are former Rams players and reunite with some Vikings coaches.

Who Is the Best Vikings Addition?

Who Is the Best Vikings Addition?
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While the duo of signings will likely not play the most prominent role, the first four will. Vikings’ GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah introduced three new defenders. Cornerback Byron Murphy, edge rusher Marcus Davenport, and defensive end Dean Lowry will be asked to improve a horrendous 2022 defense, while tight end Josh Oliver is the new guy in town on the offensive side of the ball.

The fans of the purple team have a clear opinion of who the top signing is.

The poll doesn’t meet scientific standards, but the numbers are large enough to shed some light on the thoughts of the fan base.

Murphy’s victory isn’t surprising, considering the huge hole the Vikings had at the cornerback position. The aforementioned Peterson left just like 2022 starters Cameron Dantzler, Duke Shelley, and Chandon Sullivan.

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Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Kalon Barnes, and Tay Gowan were the only other players in the cornerback room. However, Murphy can be one of the top cornerbacks in the league, so his signing is a big one, regardless. He will fix some of the issues but needs a decent CB on the other side, it is unknown if Booth or Evans can fill those spots, as they have close to no experience in the league, and their rookie campaigns were plagued by injuries. The addition of more CBs is a sure thing, either in free agency or in the draft.

Davenport finished second in the poll, perhaps because the position is not really a need at this point. As long as Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter are on the roster, the two starting spots are filled, but Smith indicated that he wants to leave the organization, and the Vikings have already filled that potential roster hole.

Twitter user KSG_SKOL commented: “If healthy it will be Davenport. He is a monster.”

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The edge rusher is a former Saints’ first-round selection with a ton of potential, but injuries slowed him down in recent years. Signing Davenport will be a big deal if Smith is granted his wish and leaves some time in the next few months. On the flip side, if the Vikings intend to keep all three edge guys, it will be interesting to see how they are utilized. A team can never have too many good players, even if they play the same position.

Tight end Josh Oliver received only 3.4% of the votes. He was a shocking signing, as the Vikings already employ T.J. Hockenson, one of the best in the business, and his backup, Johnny Mundt, is also returning. Oliver was primarily used as a blocker in Baltimore but showed the skills to be a pass catcher in college. It will be fascinating if he becomes a significant target in the passing game.

Twitter user Strallweat commented: “I’m crazy for saying Oliver but he’s gonna help a ton. Maybe not big plays but he’s a beast at blocking.”

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The addition will potentially spark the usage of 12 personnel, which means one running back, two wideouts, and two tight ends on the field. Most people expected Kevin O’Connell to implement an offense based on Sean McVay’s Rams, who run by far the most plays with three wide receivers, but O’Connell seems to have a different idea.

Defensive lineman Lowry was the least popular name in the poll, but he’ll have a big role, considering the state of the Vikings’ defensive line. Tomlinson departed after signing a huge deal in Cleveland, and Lowry has to battle with backup-caliber players like James Lynch and Ross Blacklock for a starting spot next to Harrison Phillips. It’s quite possible that he will not be the last addition across the defensive line.

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Twitter user longtimegone65 had a different idea when he added Brian Flores to the discussion. The defensive coordinator has the big task of fixing an atrocious unit coordinated by his predecessor, Ed Donatell. If he can improve the defense, the Vikings can make some noise in the upcoming season.

Free agency is not over, and the Vikings still need some help. Adding a cornerback, a defensive tackle, and another receiver can help improve the team.

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