Vikings Now Employ a “Mr. Do Everything”

Unlikely Vikings Defender Has Quietly Stolen Starting Gig
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NFL free agency kicked off three weeks ago, and on the first day of the NFL’s open marketplace, the Minnesota Vikings landed three big fish: Jonathan Greenard (OLB, Houston Texans), Blake Cashman (ILB, Houston Texans), and Andrew Van Ginkel (OLB, Miami Dolphins).

Vikings Now Employ a “Mr. Do Everything”

A defensive bonanza indeed, Minnesota will hope to nudge Brian Flores’ unit into the Top 10 next season after a lofty climb from 24th in the NFL two years ago to 11th per DVOA in 2023.

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Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports.

And according to the team’s general manager, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Van Ginkel is a “Mr. Do Everything.” The young executive talked to KFAN’s Paul Allen last week and was almost giddy about Van Ginkel’s addition to the depth chart.

Adofo-Mensah assigned the nickname and elaborated, “I don’t think there’s a single thing on defense he can’t do.”

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Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Van Ginkel experienced ample playing time in 2023 when nearly every EDGE rusher for the Dolphins was lost to injury. He had 6 sacks and 20 pressures, according to Stathead, along with a blistering 91.1 Pro Football Focus grade.

Adofo-Mensah continued his Van Ginkel scouting report, “As a general manager, it gives you comfort when you can kind of pencil somebody into different spots. He can play edge. He can drop. I would say, if not the best dropper in the NFL, with his instincts, his ability to get out in space. But then he’s someone who has shown that he has a complement of moves that can stress tackles and is an incredibly versatile player, smart, just everything we want as a Viking. The hair doesn’t hurt, either.”

Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel suffered a broken nose Sunday against the Jets but by Monday, he’d been patched up.© HAL HABIB / The Palm Beach Post / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Iowan was a Flores draft pick for the Dolphins in 2019. Those ties between players and coaches always seem to reemerge. In fact, Minnesota could explore more former Dolphins from free agency, like cornerback Xavien Howard, for example.

Minnesota needed EDGE rushers heading into the 2024 offseason — like, several — and this group is now the EDGE fivesome on the books as of April 1st:

  • Jonathan Greenard
  • Andrew Van Ginkel
  • Jihad Ward
  • Patrick Jones II
  • Andre Carter II
Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (43) and linebacker David Long Jr., rear, celebrate a sack against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Dec. 24, 2023. © Jim Rassol / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Van Ginkel played 66% of defensive snaps for Miami in 2023, a worthwhile amount and tip of the cap that he’ll start in September for Minnesota. He banked 69 tackles, 6 sacks, 19 QB hits, 8 tackles for a loss, 1 interception, and 8 passes defended in 2023 and played 138 special teams snaps. A jack of all trades, indeed.

He’ll turn 29 in July and joined the Vikings on a two-year, $20 million deal.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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