The Vikings’ 5 Most Underrated Offseason Moves

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The Minnesota Vikings’ regular season is less than four months away, and according to sportsbooks, the club is expected to win seven or eight games.

The Vikings’ 5 Most Underrated Offseason Moves

A transitional year on deck, the club will hope newcomer passer J.J. McCarthy is the real deal, as that essentially characterizes the next 3-4 years of Vikings football.

And to arrive at such an exciting and change-filled year, these are the four most underrated offseason moves to date, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most underrated move).

5. Continued UDFA Majesty

Minnesota Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah addressed the media about the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft from the TCO Performance Center. The Vikings have long-term draft needs at quarterback, cornerback, and interior offensive line.

In 2022, it was Luiji Vilain. The following season, Ivan Pace Jr. joined the Vikings. Now, it’s Gabriel Murphy, an EDGE rusher from UCLA. Murphy, like Pace Jr., owned mid-round stock heading into April’s draft but curiously wasn’t selected.

Last year, folks saw how Minnesota could pounce on an undrafted free agent and make him a starter five months later. Murphy may not start, but he’ll probably make the 53-man roster in September.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has figured out a hack for undrafted free agency.

4. Adding CB Shaquill Griffin — for Depth or Otherwise

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Griffin became a Viking in March, a bet-hedger to all of Minnesota’s young cornerbacks. He can be plugged-and-played anytime and might even start for the 2024 Vikings.

He tailled a 72.4 passer-rating-against between two teams last season, which is one of the best among current purple corners. Minnesota needed another veteran presence in the CB room, and Griffin is exactly that. He’ll turn 29 this summer.

3. Coaching Staff Continuity

gabriel murphy
Minnesota defensive coordinator Brian Flores chatting with Tatum Everett on February 15th, 2023. Minnesota hired Flores from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he was a linebackers coach for one season.

Not long ago, the Vikings always had to replace an offensive coordinator. Like — every year.

In fact, Minnesota hasn’t employed the same head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator in back-to-back seasons since 2015 going into 2016. It’s been a while.

Of course, the quarterback will be new, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

2. Signing Andrew Van Ginkel at a Reasonable Price

vikings starters
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports.

Also a first in a while: Minnesota will actually possess EDGE rusher depth. The latest time the purple team had this much pre-season oomph at pass rusher was around 2016 and 2017 when Danielle Hunter was establishing himself as a baller.

Since then, the Vikings’ defense has been Hunter, plus another guy, like Everson Griffen or Za’Darius Smith. Now, however, Minnesota has Jonathan Greenard, Dallas Turner, and Andrew Van Ginkel on the depth chart.

And Adofo-Mensah onboarded Van Ginkel for $10 million per season — a steal of a deal.

1. A Serious Ground Game Fix — Aaron Jones

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It’s not that Aaron Jones is the greatest running back of all time, nor is he very young. However, the team proved this offseason that it means business about finally fixing its rushing woes.

Per DVOA, Minnesota has ranked 27th in the business per rushing efficiency in consecutive seasons. It might’ve been tempting to deputize Ty Chandler as the RB1, but the Jones signing proved the Vikings are for real about a fix.

Jones played fiendishly well late last season, and Minnesota will hope for a continuance. Once and for all, Kevin O’Connell must fix his ground attack. The addition of Jones is a step in the right direction.

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 MIN obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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