2 Vikings Moves Would Complete Homerun Offseason

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It is a fascinating time in the Vikings universe as the purple team parted ways with quarterback Kirk Cousins after six seasons. He will continue his career in Atlanta. Sam Darnold, a former third overall pick was signed to take his job, at least until a potential rookie quarterback arrives. The Vikings hope they can squeeze more out of him than his previous teams could. They surely have the weapons and the coaching to do that.

2 Vikings Moves Would Complete Homerun Offseason

2 Vikings Moves Would Complete Homerun Offseason
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General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah primarily invested in the defense, a unit that was desperate for some reinforcements. Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard will provide the pass rush sans Danielle Hunter while hometown hero Blake Cashman will replace Jordan Hicks in the middle of the defense.

On offense, the Vikings made the splashy move to add former Packers running back Aaron Jones to address the worst part of the attack, the rushing game. Brandon Powell returns for a second season, possibly in an elevated role because K.J. Osborn is a free agent.

In the first two days, Adofo-Mensah made some excellent decisions. He signed good football players, didn’t overpay for departing players, regardless of their importance to the team, and he didn’t sign the newcomers to crazy contracts. It has been a good offseason, two more moves could earn the GM an A+ grade.

Vikings Free Agency
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Defensive coordinator Brian Flores should be happy with the three noteworthy acquisitions but he is still missing one player. Minnesota employs Harrison Phillips, a wonderful defensive tackle when it comes to stopping the run but he is not a pass-rusher. In fact, the Vikings haven’t had a Pro Bowl-level rusher on the interior of the defensive line in years.

Christian Wilkins, formerly with the Dolphins, now with the Raiders, could’ve been that guy which is why many Vikings fans desired his signing. Justin Madubuike and Chris Jones didn’t hit free agency and signed extensions instead. Without getting their hands on an elite free-agent tackle, the Vikings should still aim to sign a tier-two player as there are some borderline Pro Bowlers available.

Arik Armstead was recently released by the 49ers and is a perfect fit in that profile. The 290-pound lineman is an effective pass-rusher and has some juice left after a strong 2023 season with five sacks. Injuries slowed him down in the last two seasons but he was fully healthy in the previous four.

Cincinnati Bengals nose tackle D.J. Reader (98) celebrates a sack of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) (not pictured) in the third quarter during Super Bowl 56, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. The Cincinnati Bengals lost, 23-20. © Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Ex-Bengals defender D.J. Reader will never show up with a ton of sacks but his power allows him to push the pocket which would open rushing lanes for his teammates in Flores’ crazy blitz packages. He’s built differently than Armstead as he doesn’t possess his quickness but is stronger.

Both players are available for a pricey number but still much less than Wilkins’ deal and the Vikings should inquire about them.

The other move to make will be in the draft when the Vikings must do whatever it takes to select their favorite QB prospect and hopefully find their new franchise quarterback.

Darnold is no longterm solution. He might be solid for a few games or even a season, but he is highly unlikely to suddenly turn into a franchise passer. That guy can only be found in the draft. Adofo-Mensah must take a risk and attach his name to one of the prospects.

Mock Draft Reveals Splashy
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Whether that should be J.J. McCarthy, Drake Maye, or Jayden Daniels is hard to tell because it is unknown if the top teams in the draft would trade their picks and who they want to pick as their QBs. Daniels is currently the favorite to join offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury in Washington with the second overall pick. Some chatter has already appeared about New England’s doubts concerning North Carolina’s Maye.

Identifying the player the coaches want and then making sure to get him by trading up, either with the Patriots or one of the following teams, should be the way to go. Too long has the franchise tried to select passers that just tumble down draft boards and it always turns out, there’s a reason why no one else wanted them. For once, the Vikes should make a splash.

If Adofo-Mensah can acquire a star defensive lineman and a top QB prospect in the draft, he will put his stamp on the franchise in one of the craziest offseasons Minnesota has ever seen.

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