Vikings Set up Visit with Top Defender

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The Minnesota Vikings will look a whole lot differently in 2024, mainly because their leader, Kirk Cousins, has left the franchise to join the Atlanta Falcons. Sam Darnold, potentially a rookie, will replace him. Aaron Jones will be the team’s new top runner. But not only does the offense have some new faces, but the defense has also undergone a facelift.

Vikings Set up Visit with Top Defender

Vikings Set Up Visit with Top Defender
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Danielle Hunter departed after nine seasons with the organization, and the entire pass-rushing group is new. Andrew Van Ginkel and Jonathan Greenard will try to get after the quarterback in Brian Flores’ unit. Two other newcomers are linebacker Blake Cashman and defensive back Shaquill Griffin, who will push for starting gigs.

The defensive line remains an issue. The two additions, Jerry Tillery and Jonah Williams, are contributors but not solutions. GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah couldn’t lure one of the top DTs in free agency to Minnesota, as one after another signed with a different team. Christian Wilkins was too expensive and joined Las Vegas. D.J. Reader will wear a Lions uniform, and Arik Armstead is heading to Jacksonville.

in Particular Rookie
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That player could still be selected in the draft. While most fans desire a top quarterback prospect, the purple team still does its homework on defensive prospects. According to Tony Pauline, interior defender Byron Murphy II is scheduled to visit the Vikings.

The 21-year-old defensive tackle was a big reason for Texas’ return to relevancy and the trip into the playoffs. In his junior season, he produced 29 tackles, five sacks, and 8.5 tackles for loss.

Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian greets Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) on a senior night before the game against Texas Tech at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. © Mikala Compton/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Because of his young age, he still has enormous potential, which is why he has been a riser in the last few months, even after his final collegiate game. Murphy could provide a spark as an interior pass rusher and is an excellent run defender.

Pauline reported from Murphy’s Pro Day about Minnesota’s interest in the defender:

Defensive tackle Byron Murphy, looking like Mr. Universe as he worked out shirtless, looked terrific in drills, just as he did during the combine. The Bears, Falcons and Colts met Murphy the last two days, as did the Vikings.

Word since the Shrine Bowl was that the Vikings would take Murphy with the 11th pick of Round 1. Obviously the focus has shifted to the quarterback position. Yet the feeling they were giving off at pro day is that Murphy would be their contingency plan at 11 if no signal caller is available.

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Murphy could end up on Minnesota’s roster, but only if the purple team doesn’t trade up for a quarterback. The Vikings traded for that 23rd pick in the first round, which clearly indicates that they want to facilitate a trade into the top range of the draft to secure a passer.

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