4 Young Vikings Who Need to Put Together an Impressive Summer to Save Their Roster Spots

Jaren
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings roster almost across the board has progressively gotten younger over the past couple years.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of the young Vikings are guaranteed to make the roster. For instance, 2022 first-round pick Lewis Cine could be in danger of missing out on the final 53-man roster if he doesn’t put together a strong summer.

With the first session of OTAs getting started today, here is a look at four other young Vikings who need to put together an impressive summer to save their spots on the 53-man roster.

QB Jaren Hall

Lining Takeaway about
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Jaren Hall has been thrown into tough spots throughout the early portion of his Vikings career. After being selected in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the assumption was that Hall would be allowed to sit back and learn Minnesota’s offense before potentially taking on the starting role for the Vikings in the coming years.

Instead, after Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles in Week 8 last year, Hall was thrust into the starting role as a rookie before a concussion prematurely ended his first start against the Atlanta Falcons. Then, he was again thrown into lineup for Minnesota’s Week 17 game against a red-hot Green Bay Packers team.

Now, Hall is being rewarded for navigating these tough waters with another very difficult situation. Kirk Cousins left the Vikings in free agency, and Minnesota responded by signing Sam Darnold and drafting J.J. McCarthy in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. With Nick Mullens still on the roster, Hall is going to need to put together a very strong couple months just to hold down the QB3 role in Minnesota.

TE Nick Muse

Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) gets around Tennessee Titans safety Mike Brown (44) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Considering T.J. Hockenson is likely to begin the 2024 season on the PUP list, one would think that is a good thing for depth tight end Nick Muse. The 2022 seventh-round pick recorded his first NFL reception during the 2023 season after Hockenson’s ACL injury in Week 16, and he very well could see a larger role in 2024 if Hockenson is not around.

However, the Vikings have spent the past month loading up on tight end talent. They added Sammis Reyes early last week, who played 11 games in Washington during the 2021 season, then followed that move up with the signing of Robert Tonyan, who has played 58 games over the past four years and recorded 11 receiving TDs during the 2020 season.

Muse’s spot on the roster behind Josh Oliver and Johnny Mundt suddenly is much less certain than it was a few weeks ago.

CB Andrew Booth

PFF
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The cornerback position holds plenty of questions for the Vikings this summer, and one of those questions revolves around Andrew Booth. After being selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Booth has not lived up to that status over his first two seasons, playing a grand total of just 256 defensive snaps.

Booth quickly was usurped by 2022 fourth-round pick, Akayleb Evans, on the depth chart, and unless Booth gives the Vikings reason to change that soon, it could remain the same in 2024. Meanwhile, Minnesota added veteran Shaq Griffin in free agency and selected Khyree Jackson in the fourth round of this spring’s draft.

OLB Andre Carter

Young Vikings
Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis (7) is stopped by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Andre Carter II (55) just short of the end zone at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. Andrew Nelles/The Tennessean.

Andre Carter was one of three UDFAs to make the Vikings’ 53-man roster heading into the 2023 season, and ironically enough, he may see competition from new UDFAs in 2024 for his spot.

Of course, the Vikings lost all three of Marcus Davenport, Danielle Hunter, and D.J. Wonnum in free agency this offseason, thus creating a void of talent at the OLB position. However, that was quickly filled in free agency with acquisitions of Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel while Dallas Turner was picked 17th overall in the draft.

Then, the Vikings brought in both Gabriel Murphy and Bo Richter as UDFAs, who were both two of the more productive pass rushers in all of college football during the 2023 season. Then, the veteran Patrick Jones has to be considered as well. Carter will need to put together a big summer in order to capture another roster spot this year.


Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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