Vikings Defensive Roster Projection | Pre-Training Camp 2024

The Vikings Final Injury Report: Week 14
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The Minnesota Vikings added over 40 new players this offseason from free agency, the draft, and undrafted free agency.

Vikings Defensive Roster Projection | Pre-Training Camp 2024

About 20 players left the franchise via free agency or remain available on the open market, headlined by quarterback Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons and outside linebacker Danielle Hunter to the Houston Texans.

Minnesota has exactly 10 weeks until the regular season, so a lot will change in July and August. Here’s a look at how the Vikings’ defense might shake out.

Note: Many ‘projected to miss 53-man roster’ players could hit the practice squad.

Outside Linebacker

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OLB1: Jonathan Greenard
OLB2: Dallas Turner
OLB3: Andrew Van Ginkel
OLB4: Jihad Ward
OLB5: Gabriel Murphy

Projected to Miss 53-man Roster:
Patrick Jones II, Andre Carter II, Owen Porter, Bo Richter

Somehow, even after Danielle Hunter skedaddled in free agency, EDGE is one of the Vikings’ deepest roster spots. Our surprise cut this August is Jones II, while Carter II hits the practice squad. Murphy effectuates his UDFA promise by making the team.

Defensive End

Vikings Offseason
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DE1: Jerry Tillery
DE2: Jaquelin Roy
DE3: Levi Drake Rodriguez

Projected to Miss 53-man Roster:
Jonah Williams, Jalen Redmond, Jonathan Bullard, Tyler Manoa, James Lynch

This spot is crowded, but it’s not stuffed to the gills with stars or anything of the sort. Give us Tillery and the youngsters. Redmon and Lynch could make the practice squad.

Nose Tackle

Harrison Phillips Had
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NT1: Harrison Phillips
NT2: Taki Taimani

Projected to Miss 53-man Roster:

A surprise at this spot, we plopped Taimani on the 53-man roster because he may be the only true nose tackle per stature on the depth chart. Khyiris Tonga left in free agency, and Minnesota hasn’t re-signed Sheldon Day. Taimani shocks the masses and earns a roster spot.

Middle Linebacker

2 Vikings Snatch
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MLB1: Ivan Pace Jr.
MLB2: Kamu Grugier-Hill

Projected to Miss 53-man Roster:
Abraham Beauplan, Dallas Gant, Donovan Manuel

Pace Jr. and Grugier-Hill make the roster with ease, while Beauplan, Gant, and Manuel either get released or hit the PS. Some are high on Beauplan, though.

Weakside Linebacker

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WLB1: Blake Cashman
WLB2: Brian Asamoah

Projected to Miss 53-man Roster:
KJ Cloyd

Cashman is in the house, Asamoah is a backup once again, and Cloyd misses out.


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CB1: Byron Murphy
CB2: Shaquill Griffin
CB3: Mekhi Blackmon
CB4: Andrew Booth
CB5: Khyree Jackson

Projected to Miss 53-man Roster:
Akayleb Evans, Jaylin Williams, A.J. Green III, Dwight McGlothern

We picked Evans as the head-turning roster cut here because he was benched a couple of times in 2023. Booth has one last shot this summer to earn a roster spot and significant playing time, and we believe he played quite well in limited action last season.


Roster Projection
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S1: Harrison Smith
S2: Camryn Bynum
S3: Josh Metellus
S4: Jay Ward
S5: NaJee Thompson
S6: Theo Jackson

Projected to Miss 53-man Roster:
Lewis Cine

Our forecast for Booth is rosier than Cine, and we’ve decided the safety room is too crowded for Cine. The disappointing pick will be traded for a late-round draft pick or try a new team on for size in September via the waiver wire.

For a second consecutive season, six safeties make the active roster, especially after NaJee Thompson evidently switched positions earlier this month.

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).

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