Proposing Nicknames for 5 New Vikings

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Football is supposed to be fun, so the proposed nicknames for 5 new Vikings exists in that spirit.

Now, Vikings fans will often experience the opposite of fun as their team regularly falls short of expectations, but let’s not travel too far down that path. And, to be sure, the current season has gotten enjoyable in a hurry. Kevin O’Connell’s crew has turned a doom & gloom 1-4 start into a rejoicing far and wide 6-4 record. Excellent stuff from Coach O’Connell — who is affectionately known as K/O — and his entire staff.

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell celebrates with quarterback Joshua Dobbs (15) after a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

There are already some great nicknames among Minnesota’s players. Kirko Chainz, Crime Dog, Mr. Wright, Speedy, Mighty Mouse, Horrible Harry, 4-4 Bulldog, 2-Car, G-Money, and The Passtronaut are just some examples. Can we squeeze a few more excellent nicknames out of this crew?

Nicknames for 5 New Vikings

1) Marcus Davenport — The Disruptor

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers place kicker Eddy Pineiro (4) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Marcus Davenport (0) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin O’Connell gets the credit for this one. After the strong effort against Carolina, Marcus Davenport got some praise from the head coach. O’Connell explained that the word to describe the edge rusher’s performance was “disruptive.” Snagging the word for the purposes of a nickname makes some sense, especially since there’s some alliterative appeal.

Truthfully, I was originally looking to build off of Davenport’s number (The Zero Assassin?), but “The Disruptor” makes the former Saint sound like a superhero. Getting him healthy and back to his disruptive ways would be a major boost for the defense and, indeed, the team as a whole.

2) Ivan Pace Jr. — The Sheriff

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift (0) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. (40) during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The proud wearer of a cowboy collar, Ivan Pace Jr. should be known as “The Sheriff.”

As a middle linebacker, Pace will be tasked with calling the plays and communicating effectively with his teammates. He’ll now get plenty of green dot work with Jordan Hicks being sidelined. The young linebacker plays with great aggressiveness and physicality. Partnering those attributes with the leadership inherent to the MLB spot means “The Sheriff” is an apt nickname.

3) Cam Akers — Quirky Cam

Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Cam Akers (31) lowers his head as he is tackled by Carolina Panthers safety Sam Franklin Jr. (42) during the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The term “quirky” is offered with the highest respect. Indeed, part of what makes playing a team sport fulfilling — especially one that involves 53 men on the roster, 16 more on the practice squad, and then several others on the IR — is that all kinds of personalities need to coalesce to make one coherent, unified team.

Kirk Cousins revealed in his press conference following the Vikings’ Week 4 Panthers game that Cam Akers would speak to himself in third person to pump himself up. Thus, “Quirky Cam.” Oh, and let’s not forget that Cousins tends to be a quirky guy, as well, complete with his tendency for saying “golly” and “frick” like it’s going out of style.

Predictably, Quirky Kirk likes Quirky Cam.

4) Josh Oliver — The Ballerina Bully

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Josh Oliver (84) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) and cornerback Jamel Dean (35) during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

A humongous human being, Josh Oliver still finds a way of gliding on the football field.

The tight end was brought to Minnesota to offer some muscle. He has done so after four games; he currently comes in at 7th overall in the PFF rankings for TEs. Not bad, especially since he’s second on the depth chart to T.J. Hockenson (6th in the same rankings). “The Ballerina Bully” captures the strange dichotomy of a player who can move effortlessly and yet also be able to bulldoze other humongous humans.

5) NaJee Thompson — NaJee the Nightmare

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback NaJee Thompson (11) warms up before a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Admittedly, the season began more modestly than many hoped, but the name still applies (especially lately).

A special teams ace, NaJee Thompson is on the team for a single assignment: be a weekly terror for Matt Daniels. The backup corner’s potential was evident in the preseason. His tackles as a gunner were spectacular. His effort in Atlanta proved to be instrumental in the victory, and he showed up yet again in Week 10 with another huge tackle on special teams. Safe to say Greg Joseph and Ryan Wright have more fun putting their boot on the football when they know that Thompson is one of the men who is pursuing the returner.

He is a nightmare to block, which is a dream come true for the Vikings.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.