The 4 Weakest Links on the Vikings 2023 Roster

The Vikings 2022 Defense by the Numbers: After Week 6
Minnesota Vikings fan during NFL game Sunday Oct 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens. © BILL INGRAM / THE PALM BEACH PSOT / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Minnesota Vikings are predicted to land in second place inside the NFC North this season, portrayed by oddsmakers and NFL pundits as inferior to the Detroit Lions.

We shall see.

The 4 Weakest Links on the Vikings 2023 Roster

If the sportsbooks and talking heads turn out to be correct and the Vikings aren’t a division-winning team, these will be the reasons.

Ranked in ascending order (No. 1 weakest link), these are the Vikings 2023 weak spots.

4. Just in Case at EDGE

The 4 Weakest Links
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker D.J. Wonnum (98) and linebacker Danielle Hunter (99) react during the fourth quarter against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Listen, if Danielle Hunter receives a contract extension from the Vikings, the EDGE room should be in good shape. And that’s that.

However, if the Vikings brass trades Hunter, well, it will have meant the club traded its two best pass-rushers during the offseason that it attempted to fix the league’s third-worst defense per points allowed. Backward.

Marcus Davenport will start regardless of Hunter, but should Hunter get shipped to another team, new defensive coordinator Brian Flores would lean on D.J. Wonnum or Patrick Jones for starters’ duty. That may not do the trick.

Of course, the Vikings can stomp out any EDGE fears and sign a free agent like Jadeveon Clowney, Yannick Ngakoue, or Robert Quinn. A handful of prominent pass rushers are waiting for the free-agent call.

3. Right Guard

PurplePTSD: Old Viking to Dolphins, Ed Ingram Momentum, MIN-LV Winners and Losers
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Ed Ingram (67) defends against Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Vernon Butler (94) in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Ed Ingram could blossom into a wonderful guard this year. It’s actually quite possible.

But if he plays exactly like 2022 Ed Ingram, Minnesota has a weakness at right guard. Hold on — the Vikings have a liability at right guard every year, but that’s neither here nor there.

Chris Reed would become the Ingram contingency plan, but after Reed, Minnesota employs skimpy OG depth.

Like one of the free-agent EDGEs mentioned above, the Vikings can sign Dalton Risner today if they desire.

2. Off-Ball Linebacker Depth

Minnesota Vikings Defensive Coordinator Brian Flores addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Flores was hired in February 2023 to take over for Ed Donatel after Minnesota finished 30th in points allowed.

It’s more than okay to be excited about Brian Asamoah and Jordan Hicks as starting linebackers in 2023. That’s allowed.

But what if one gets hurt? You’d be experiencing the Hicks-Reeder or Asamoah-Reeder show (Troy Reeder, a free-agent signee from March).

Everyone’s pumped about Asamoah in his second season, but the Vikings aren’t very deep at linebacker. They need Ivan Pace to emerge as a playmaker — or sign a free agent like Kyle Van Noy.

1. CB2 and CB in General

Fears Confirmed: Vikings Rookie Lost for Season
Mar 5, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Clemson defensive back Andrew Booth (DB04) talks to the media during the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said goodbye to these CBs this offseason:

  • Patrick Peterson
  • Duke Shelley
  • Cameron Dantzler
  • Chandon Sullivan
  • Kris Boyd

He said hello to these non-UDFA corners:

  • Byron Murphy
  • Mekhi Blackmon
  • Joejuan Williams
  • John Reid

Of course, the Vikings 2022 secondary was forgettable, but they jettisoned the two especially talented players in Peterson and Shelley. Now, the franchise merely hopes that Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans are ready for starters’ jobs.

If they determine the CB room isn’t thriving at training camp, Marcus Peters remains available via free agency.

For now, though, Minnesota is hoping Murphy is God-like and that the young CBs are ready for the big leagues.

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).

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