5 Free Agents to Strengthen Vikings Roster | Post-Draft

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The 2024 NFL Draft is over, and the Minnesota Vikings have added their “quarterback of the future,” a talented edge rusher, cornerback competition, a kicker, and some late-round depth to the offensive and defensive lines. It was a good draft for Minnesota, but they can still strengthen areas of the roster.

5 Free Agents to Strengthen Vikings Roster | Post-Draft

Most top free agents were swooped up in the first wave of free agency. The Vikings picked up Jonathan Greenard, Andrew Van Ginkel, Blake Cashman, and Aaron Jones, among others. The bad news is that there’s nothing out there, other than Calais Campbell, for the position the Vikings are in most desperate need of — defensive tackle. However, some intriguing names are still out there that could fill important roles on the Vikings roster. Here is my list of five free agents who would strengthen the Vikings roster.

Tyler Boyd

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After eight seasons in Cincinnati and amassing 6000 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns, Tyler Boyd is one of the best players still on the free-agent market. The 29-year-old former Bengal should have enough left in the tank to be a team’s WR3, working primarily out of the slot. K.J. Osborn vacated the role, and this hasn’t been appropriately addressed. Brandon Powell was re-signed, and Trent Sherfield was brought in, but they should be taking the WR4/5 roles. The Vikings need a genuine WR3, and Boyd fits the bill.

DJ Chark

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The other option for the WR3 position is DJ Chark. A second-round pick in 2018, Chark is looking for his fourth team in four years. He has over 3000 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in his career. A 1000-yard, 8-touchdown season that earned him Pro Bowl honors in 2019 was the peak of his career, but injuries have somewhat derailed him since.

A year in a struggling Carolina Panthers team last time out saw 525 receiving yards and five touchdowns, which are acceptable for a WR3, Chark primarily works from the outside but can play from the slot, which gives him the versatility needed as Kevin O’Connell will move his receivers around the formation.

Xavien Howard

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The Vikings have a stable of young cornerbacks looking to fulfill their promise. Shaquill Griffin was signed to add some experience to the group. Can the Vikings look to add more experience to the group in the shape of four-time Pro-Bowler and All-Pro CB Xavien Howard?

Injuries have been hampering Howard, but reports have said he has been cleared for football activities. With his familiarity with Vikings DC Brian Flores, Howard’s move to the Vikings is an easy leap to make.

Connor Williams

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In the midst of making a name for himself as one of the best centers in the league, Connor Williams was stuck down with what has been described as a significant ACL injury. He probably doesn’t play this season, but Garrett Bradbury’s future is probably up for discussion at the end of this season. Keeping an eye on Williams’s recovery progress should be on the Viking’s agenda. At what point in that recovery process do you pounce for his signature? This is the question that teams across the league will be asking themselves.

Dalton Risner

Dalton Risner
Minnesota Vikings guard Dalton Risner addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Dalton Risner: “We All Know We Have A Great Culture But We Came Up Short This Season.”

The Vikings haven’t replaced Dalton Risner, other than the possibility of Blake Brandel finishing his switch from tackle to guard and becoming the Vikings starting left guard. Brandel played 163 snaps at right guard last season and looked like an obvious future starter at no point. Can the Vikings get him ready over the offseason? Maybe, but it seems a long shot.

The good news? Risner is still available. However, on April 29th, the guard’s role in any compensatory pick calculations will become defunct. At this point, re-signing Risner becomes a no-brainer.