Does Calais Campbell Make Sense for the Vikings?

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When the Minnesota Vikings finished drafting their 2024 class, they notably lacked a player who should have been expected to start on the interior defensive line. Dallas Turner may very well be a day-one starter on edge, but help at the tackle position is still necessary. Could Calais Campbell fill that role?

Does Calais Campbell Make Sense for the Vikings?

For the vast majority of his career, the decorated veteran has been an edge rusher. Calais Campbell has 105.5 sacks to his credit and has twice surpassed double-digits in a single season. Last year with the Atlanta Falcons, though, he moved to the interior defensive line for a period, and his skillset provided an interesting look for the opposition.

Calais Campbell
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Campbell certainly isn’t the big-bodied run stuffer that you’d come to expect from the defensive tackle position, but his elusiveness and quickness are something that could wreak havoc on the center and guard positions. Starting all 17 games a year ago, he posted 6.5 sacks and 56 total tackles. Those were his best numbers since working for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, and despite being 38 years old, it appears he may have something left in the tank.

Last season, the Falcons paid Campbell a $7 million salary for one year. He should be expected to get something along those lines if he wants to return to the field this season, and whether the Vikings want to roll the dice for that sum remains to be seen. He would join a defensive front that would allow him to be less focused on rushing the passer.

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With both Johnathan Greenard and Dallas Turner on the edges while having Andrew Van Ginkel to rotate in, Campbell could work alongside Jerry Tillery in the middle.

Tillery is a former first-round pick who has been dubbed a castoff now, and the presence of a star veteran like Campbell may help increase his developmental probability.

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The defensive tackle market is largely picked over at this point, and while Minnesota did attempt to sign former Miami Dolphins star Christian Wilkins, they could still be interested in addressing the position. Wilkins has about 30 pounds on Campbell, and as suggested, the veteran would be acclimating to a new role in something of a full-time capacity. Still, though, the fit makes some sense and could be a way for Minnesota to address among their worst position groups.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.