Vikings Fetch One Really Horrible Ranking

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota Vikings fans don’t believe the team’s defensive line is absolutely elite, but they also don’t think it’s the third-worst in football.

Vikings Fetch One Really Horrible Ranking

But that’s the word from Pro Football Focus this week, an outfit that claimed the Vikings’ 2024 defensive line ranks 30th per personnel heading into a new season.

draft grade
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A head-scratcher to be sure, most would’ve nominated Minnesota for the middle of the pack if asked to predict the state of play for the 2024 defensive line. Yet, per PFF, it’s no such luck, and Brian Flores evidently owns the third-worst line in the sport.

“The Vikings’ offseason free agency swap of Danielle Hunter for Jonathan Greenard was likely a downgrade, even if they got younger and cheaper in the process,” PFF’s Sam Monson opined. “Andrew Van Ginkel earned a 91.1 PFF overall grade last season, but that was a massive outlier in a career that has typically seen him post grades in the 60s and 70s.”

vikings move
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The weird part? Monson didn’t mention Minnesota’s defensive tackles — the section of the defensive line that should drag the ranking down.

“Rookie Dallas Turner will have high expectations, but the interior of this line is a weakness,” Monson concluded. The only teams worse, according to PFF, were the Denver Broncos at No. 31 and Arizona Cardinals in last place. The New York Jets (No. 1), San Francisco 49ers (No. 2), and Philadelphia Eagles (No. 3) led the way.

harrison phillips
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ironically, Minnesota actually improved its outside linebacker situation more than folks expected this offseason. After Danielle Hunter left, it was unclear if the Vikings would replace him with enough oomph to make his exit stomachable, but then general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added free agents Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel, plus Alabama’s Dallas Turner from April’s draft.

For clarity, this is the EDGE room as of June 26th:

  • Jonathan Greenard
  • Dallas Turner
  • Andrew Van Ginkel
  • Patrick Jones II
  • Jihad Ward
  • Andre Carter II
  • Gabriel Murphy
  • Owen Porter
  • Bo Richter

While the defensive line’s interior may be a little weak — Jerry Tillery will likely start next to nose tackle Harrison Phillips — off-ball linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. also provides quarterback pressure.

Generally speaking, if PFF’s low ranking — basically an indictment — were a product of underwhelming defensive tackles, the opinion would make sense. Instead, Monson chided the EDGE rushers, which is the strong point of the line.

Coach Already a Hot
Minnesota defensive coordinator Brian Flores takes over the team’s defense at an introductory press conference on February 15th, 2023, in Eagan, Minnesota.

So, now it’s up to the Vikings and Brian Flores to prove the defensive trenches aren’t the third-worst in the business. The regular season is 74 days away.

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 MIN 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