The 3 Worst Parts of the Vikings’ Roster

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The Minnesota Vikings’ regular season is 112 days away, kicking off with a road game at the New York Giants.

The 3 Worst Parts of the Vikings’ Roster

The franchise will hope rookie passer J.J. McCarthy is the real deal, as that basically defines the next 3-4 years of Vikings football. Meanwhile, the roster has improved in the last few months following a climactic offseason when general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah claimed his “competitive rebuild” would draw to a close.

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And with the offseason close to over, these are the three worst areas of the Vikings’ roster, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most improved area).

3. WRs after Jefferson and Addison

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jalen Nailor (83) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

The Group:
Brandon Powell
Trent Sherfield
Jalen Nailor
Lucky Jackson
Malik Knowles
Thayer Thomas
Trishton Jackson
N’Keal Harry
Ty James
Jeshaun Jones
Devron Harper

Of course, all Minnesota would have to do to solve this problem is sign Hunter Renfrow or Michael Thomas on the open market, but it has shown no interest in such players since grabbing Sherfield in March.

Any one of the players listed above — there is a bunch — could break out into WR3 stardom, but for now, WR3 remains a roster deficiency.

2. Interior Offensive Line

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports.

The Group:
Blake Brandel
Garrett Bradbury
Ed Ingram

The trio isn’t necessarily poor, but most of the proficiency depends on Brandel’s apparent emergence to starter’s duty. Minnesota hasn’t re-signed Dalton Risner, and in back-to-back offseasons, Risner is left wondering what’s wrong with his resume.

Then, Bradbury will enter a contract year this September while Vikings fans wait for Ingram to take the leap as a not-just-decent offensive guard. Minnesota spent a 2nd-Round pick on Ingram two years ago, and guards drafted that high should eventually become Pro Bowlers.

Like Renfrow as a WR3 option, Adofo-Mensah signing Risner would cross this one off the list.

1. Defensive Tackle

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The Group:
Harrison Phillips
Jerry Tillery
Jonathan Bullard
Jonah Williams
James Lynch
Jaquelin Roy
Levi Drake Rodriguez
Tyler Manoa
Taki Taimani

Minnesota had plenty of opportunities to upgrade the spot next to Harrison Phillips, including free agents like Christian Wilkins, Arik Armstead, D.J. Reader, Grover Stewart, Leonard Williams, Sheldon Rankins, and Maurice Hurst, among others. It reportedly made a run at Wilkins, but he latched onto the Las Vegas Raiders’ roster for four years and $110 million.

After that, the draft shook down, and the Vikings didn’t find a high-profile DT there, either. Adofo-Mensah wound up with “Prospect X” late-rounder Levi Drake Rodriguez.

The last best hope this offseason at defensive tackle is exploring the free agency of Calais Campbell or firing off an unforeseen trade.


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.

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