Ranking the 4 Deepest Positions on the Vikings Roster

Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Josh Metellus (44) warms up before a game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have gone about reshaping a number of different positions on their roster through free agency.

Now, the NFL Draft is just a few weeks away, and it will provide the Vikings an opportunity to fill out the remainder of their roster needs. However, when the draft arrives, there are a few areas that Minnesota can afford to avoid. Here is a quick ranking of the four deepest positions on the Vikings roster.

1. Safety

Vikings Roster
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) celebrate a fumble recovery against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota saw a massive turnaround on defense under Brian Flores in 2023. During the 2022 season, the Vikings ranked 30th in points allowed, 31st in yards allowed, and 30th in yards allowed per play. They followed that up in 2023 by ranking 14th in points allowed, 16th in yards allowed, and 14th in yards allowed per play.

A big reason behind that turnaround was the play of their safeties. Camryn Bynum took massive strides forward after struggling during his first year as a full-time starter while Josh Metellus burst onto the scene as a “jack of all trades” defender.

This offseason, the Vikings managed to retain each of their safeties by restructuring Harrison Smith’s contract and re-signing Theo Jackson. There is very little reason to believe as of now that the play from this group will take much of a step back in 2024.

2. Tight End

Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) celebrates his touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Had T.J. Hockenson not suffered a major knee injury back in December, the Vikings’ tight end group would have a very valid claim to the No. 1 spot on this list. Josh Oliver nearly doubled his career receiving totals last season by catching 22 passes for 443 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Johnny Mundt re-signed this offseason, thus giving Kevin O’Connell his self-proclaimed “best TE3” in the NFL. Mundt actually took on the majority of the TE receiving duties after Hockenson suffered his injury last year and ended up with 17 receptions for a career-high 172 yards and a touchdown.

Nick Muse has shown some promise as well over his first two years in the NFL. He made his first career reception during the final week of the 2023 regular season and put together a strong preseason beforehand. If Hockenson were to be sidelined for some time, Muse could be another option at the position.

3. Cornerback

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Nov 12, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates his interception against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings don’t necessarily have a top-tier cornerback in their secondary right now, but there is something to be said of having a bunch of solid players who can take on NFL snaps when needed. Byron Murphy is the clear leader in the group and put together a fantastic season in 2023, recording 13 passes defended and three interceptions.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has used three draft selections in the past two years to try and fill out their depth at the position as well. While Andrew Booth hasn’t necessarily lived up to his second-round status, both Mekhi Blackmon and Akayleb Evans have put together quality snaps in the secondary even if they may be inconsistent at times.

Minnesota also opted to bring in a new veteran this offseason by signing Shaquill Griffin. The veteran will turn 29 years old in July, and he hasn’t necessarily been an outstanding player in recent years, but he is yet another name who can put in time for the team if needed. Nobody would be upset if the Vikings add another playmaker to this group in the draft, but it also shouldn’t be viewed as a major need right now, particularly with Minnesota’s depth and production at safety.

4. Edge Rusher

Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive end Jonathan Greenard (52) walks off the field before the game against the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings entered a pretty dangerous situation regarding their edge rushers this offseason with all three of Marcus Davenport, Danielle Hunter, and D.J. Wonnum heading towards free agency. Sure enough, all three players left for new teams.

Of course, Minnesota began preparing for these departures early. They signed Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel in the early hours of free agency. Both players are coming off career-high sack numbers in 2023, and particularly in Van Ginkel’s case, the new edge rushers are versatile.

The Vikings also signed Jihad Ward, who put together his own career-high sack number with the New York Giants last season, recording five. If Patrick Jones can get back to his 2022 form this season, Minnesota will have a very solid quartet at the position. Andre Carter could also be in line for a step forward.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.