Here Come the Vikings’ Depth Signings

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Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was a busy man, making a flurry of moves over the first couple of days of free agency. Big names left, and men who had been signed to take the team forward came in. Inevitably, free agency has slowed down, and here come the Vikings’ depth signings — it has started with Jerry Tillery, Trent Sherfield, Dan Feeney, and most recently Jonah Williams.

Here Come the Vikings’ Depth Signings

Minnesota currently has 62 players signed to the roster. By the time training camp rolls around, it will have ballooned to 90. The Vikings will add players in the draft and undrafted free agents afterward, but that won’t get them to 90. There is room — and more room can be created — for some more significant FA signings. However, there will be several depth signings, players like Tillery, Sherfield, Feeney, and Williams, who will add a veteran presence to training camp and set a bar for incoming rookies to get past.

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Tillery, the Chargers’ 28th overall pick in 2019, has never lived up to that draft stock. He fits the bill of the interior pass rusher the Vikings need but is more of a rotational player than the every-down stud the Vikings really need. Sherfield is known as a good blocker and special teams guy, and he has skills that can help him grab the final wide receiver spot on the roster. 

A third-round pick in 2017, Feeney has 65 starts from 112 games, but his career is on the downslope after never really getting going. He has a guard and center versatility, and with Garrett Bradbury the only center on the Vikings roster, this was a necessary move for training camp, at least. The defensive line is an obvious weak point on the Vikings roster, and while the signing of Williams doesn’t exactly move the needle, it does see some depth put into a position that was short on quantity as well as quality.

The Next Moves

At this point, it would be a major shock if Minnesota didn’t draft their “quarterback of the future,” but where does that leave the rest of the roster, which still has some obvious holes? Minnesota has grabbed some bodies in for the defensive line, but they still lack the quality and need a genuine starter to play next to Phillips. Teair Tart, who has been visiting teams, is the only player left on the market who can fill that void. It looks like the Vikings need to turn to the draft or hope for a huge leap from 2023 rookie Jaquelin Roy.

Brandon Powell could be WR3, though the same role he had last season — WR4 and punt returner — makes more sense to me. If Sherfield takes the fifth spot, leaving the Vikings one roster space at WR to fill. Names like Tyler Boyd and Josh Reynolds are still available if the Vikings want to put a decent chunk of cash into the position. Alternatively, an early Day 3 draft pick on someone like Jacob Cowing or Luke McCaffrey would be a good option.

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The other glaringly obvious move that needs to happen is at guard. The Vikings clearly like Blake Brandel, but do they like him enough to have him as the stand-alone starting option at left guard? Especially when the other two guys on the IOL — Garrett Bradbury and Ed Ingram — have proven themselves to be more adequate starters rather than a team strength. Dalton Risner is still available to return to Minnesota, but all other notable avenues available in free agency have dried up. If no deal can be reached with Risner, it leaves the Vikings using a Day 3 pick on someone to compete with Brandel.

Other positions the Vikings are likely to bring in some depth signings and/or use late-round draft picks on are linebacker, edge, cornerback, wide receiver, and running back.