Vikings Have 4 Primary Needs in 2024 Offseason

Need to Get into Top
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After a disappointing 2023 season that ended with four straight losses and an implosion after the starting QB got hurt, the Minnesota Vikings want to return to the postseason in 2024. To do that, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell must fill their roster and some crucial holes with their resources–the 11th overall pick and the unusually high cap space after years of entering the offseason with debt.

Vikings Have 4 Primary Needs in 2024 Offseason

To get back to the tournament and have a chance to make noise in the NFC picture, they must address some needs.

4. Offensive Guard

The offensive line has been a pleasant surprise in 2023, but a new hole has opened with the expiring contract of left guard Dalton Risner. Ed Ingram has improved and will start at one guard spot, with Garrett Bradbury expected to handle the middle of the line bookmarked by Pro Bowl caliber players Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw.

Vikings Have 4 Primary Needs in 2024 Offseason
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Risner played well during his time with the Vikings, so he should receive some interest in free agency. His return is possible but not guaranteed. The backups Blake Brandel and Chris Reed are also scheduled to hit free agency. The Vikings must either re-sign one of those players or acquire a different starting-caliber player.

3. Defensive Line

The Vikings had a fabulous run defense, which generally shows how good a defensive line is, but Minnesota’s results are a fluke. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores has only run defenders up front. Harrison Phillips is a wonderful nose tackle, but Flores lacks someone who can rush the passer and a sidekick for Phillips.

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Sharrif Floyd, in 2013, was the last defensive tackle drafted in the first three rounds, and it might be time to break that streak and find someone who can be helpful in the trenches. Good teams win there, and the Vikings’ defensive line is a disaster. Free agency could also address the issue as immediate help is more likely to be found there.

2. Quarterback

Head coach Kevin O’Connell has two passers under contract for the upcoming season. Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall started games for the Vikings and showed why they shouldn’t be full-time starters entering the 2024 season.

a Pivotal Vikings
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With Kirk Cousins (and Joshua Dobbs)on the free agent list, the Vikings must find a new captain or re-sign Cousins to steer the offense. He will turn 36 in August, and his torn Achilles is a concern. A decline can happen at any point in the near future, so looking for a successor in the draft should be a no-brainer, regardless of his status in the next season.

1. Edge Rusher

Although quarterback is the most critical position, and the Vikings certainly need to fix it, the edge-rushing group is in an even worse state. Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport, and D.J. Wonnum are free agents, leaving only Patrick Jones and Andre Carter for the two outside linebacker spots.

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Hunter will command a high salary, and he has earned every penny of it after posting a career-high 16.5 sacks in 2023. The Vikings should still try to bring him back for another season, and Wonnum should also be an option after a solid campaign. Mock drafts have continuously sent pass-rushers to Minnesota, especially Jared Verse and Laiatu Latu, who are interesting names to follow in the next three months.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt