The Vikings Should Sign Multiple Pass Rushers

As I’ve watched some great playoff football, I’ve found myself wondering what the Vikings need to do to ensure they’re among the teams putting forth top-notch playoff football in future seasons. One thing that seems abundantly clear is that the Vikings really need to add pass rushers.

Let me begin by drawing attention to the plural. The team ought to pursue multiple pass rushers.

Take, for instance, the Rams. They’ve done a nice job in this regard. Aaron Donald is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and quite possibly the best 3T in NFL history (as Zim suggested earlier in the year). I don’t think there’s anyone on the planet who can block him for a whole game. Von Miller can still have a great impact; take a look above for his stats from last week. Then there’s Leonard Floyd, a long, explosive edge rusher. The three combine to form an intimidating group.

Part of what makes the pass rush more effective is having Jalen Ramsey. He’s perhaps the league’s best corner, someone who can nullify the opposition’s top receiver. Doing so allows the pass rush to have more time to get home. The more a QB has to work through his progressions, the more chance for the pass rush to defeat their blocker.

The chances of Minnesota having an elite defense next season seem small. Even still, it’s the goal. Fixing the pass rush would be a major help.

Any discussion of the Vikings and pass rusher must begin with Danielle Hunter. The former third-round pick is a sensational player, someone who the opposition needs to account for on a play-by-play basis. The issue, of course, has been his availability, or lack thereof. He missed all of 2020; he missed the majority of 2021.

As it stands, Hunter carries a massive $26.12 million cap hit. It’s an oversized number that can’t remain untouched. The two options are to trade him or find a restructure that works. Reworking the deal to have a lower cap but a lot of incentives may make sense for both sides. Doing so gives the team a better financial situation and Hunter the chance to still make a lot of money.

From there, the team really needs to look toward bringing in several players to help with the pass rush. Recently, PFF suggested the Vikings ought to make a move for Miami DE Emmanuel Ogbah. Some other names to consider are Chandler Jones, Justin Houston, and Jerry Hughes (among others). Bringing in someone to get after the QB from the 3T spot would also be a welcome addition.

Partnering multiple strong pass rushers with Dalvin Tomlinson, Armon Watts, and Michael Pierce (if he sticks around) would allow the Vikings to put forward a significantly better defense in 2022.