The 3 Shakiest Spots on Vikings’ Current Roster

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The Minnesota Vikings’ 2024 roster-building will go full tilt in about five weeks.

That’s when free agency kicks off — March 11th with “legal tampering.” Then, the NFL Draft commences on April 25th, and the purple team owns nine picks heading into the event.

The 3 Shakiest Spots on Vikings’ Current Roster

Meanwhile, Minnesota has its work cut out, as over 25 in-house free agents are scheduled to hit the open market. Since general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over two years ago, the roster has undergone tremendous change, with just 11 players from January 2022 scheduled to be on the roster in 2024.

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Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

And with the offseason heating up after next week’s Super Bowl, these are the depth chart spots to monitor for the Vikings. They’re listed in ascending order (No. 1 = shakiest).

3. Defensive Tackle

The 3 Shakiest Spots
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These are the Vikings’ interior defensive linemen under contract:

  • Harrison Phillips
  • Dean Lowry
  • Jaquelin Roy

Notably, Jonathan Bullard and Khyiris Tonga are free agents, and it is unclear if the Vikings will re-sign either.

Various free agents at this spot will be available, and Minnesota may opt to invest in March. These are some of the high-profile names:

  • Chris Jones
  • Justin Madubuike
  • Christian Wilkins
  • D.J. Reader
  • Leonard Williams
  • Grover Stewart
  • Sheldon Rankins
  • Austin Johnson
  • Teair Tart
  • Javon Kinlaw

In the last decade, outside of Sheldon Richardson — twice — the Vikings have not prioritized this area next to men like Harrison Phillips and Linval Joseph. They’re usually content with “just a guy” at the other DT spot. We shall see if that changes in 2024.

2. Outside Linebacker

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Under contract in 2024, it’s these men at outside linebacker for the 2024 Vikings as of early February:

  • Andre Carter II
  • Patrick Jones II

Indeed, the offseason is just kicking off, but this is embarrassingly slim for one of the NFL’s most important positions. The Vikings can cut the problem in half by extending Danielle Hunter in the next five weeks, and the temperature will lower.

Then, they need another outside linebacker. These are some of the free-agent possibilities:

  • Brian Burns
  • Bryce Huff
  • Chase Young
  • Jonathan Greenard
  • Jadeveon Clowney
  • Za’Darius Smith
  • Josh Uche
  • Leonard Floyd
  • Andrew Van Ginkel
  • Calais Campbell
  • Carl Lawson
  • A.J. Epenesa

And rookie options somewhat early in the draft if Minnesota plans to use the event for a starter:

  • Laiatu Latu (UCLA)
  • Dallas Turner (Alabama)
  • Jared Verse (Florid State)
  • Chop Robinson (Penn State)
  • Chris Braswell (Alabama)

1. Quarterback

found a new low
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This one takes the cake because if the 2024 season started tomorrow, Minnesota would have to start Nick Mullens or Jaren Hall. Kirk Cousins and Joshua Dobbs are free agents.

The Vikings will either re-sign Cousins for a year or two, draft a quarterback, re-sign Cousins and draft a quarterback, or explore a trade for someone like Justin Fields. In theory, Minnesota could also sign a different veteran quarterback like Ryan Tannehill, but if that were the plan, they’d likely just keep Cousins.

If it’s a rookie early in the draft, these are the names to watch:

  • Caleb Williams (USC)
  • Drake Maye (North Carolina)
  • Jayden Daniels (LSU)
  • Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
  • J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)
  • Bo Nix (Oregon)
  • Michael Pratt (Tulane)

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.