Ranking the 4 Biggest Vikings Roster Needs

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The first wave of NFL free agency is officially in the books.

As a result, much of the attention across the league has turned back to the 2024 NFL Draft, and how teams could go about filling their remaining needs. With the draft just about three and a half weeks away, here is a look at the four biggest Vikings roster needs.

1. Quarterback

Vikings Roster
Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) celebrates after a play during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the most important position in sports, and for now, the Vikings have options that include Sam Darnold, Jaren Hall, and Nick Mullens to be their QB1 in 2024. These three players have gone a combined 27-51 in games they’ve started at the NFL level.

Until his injury in 2023, the Vikings had one of the most consistent starting options in the entire NFL with Kirk Cousins at the helm. Now, though, he is an Atlanta Falcon, leaving the Vikings in an interesting spot. Perhaps Darnold can turn his career around by throwing to some elite talent, but Minnesota might also be in line to select a quarterback early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

2. Defensive Tackle

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jonathan Bullard (93) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have added a few fringe rotational players to their defensive line this offseason, but they were unable to make the big splash that they were hoping for in free agency. As a result, Minnesota’s defensive line looks like this as we get closer to the draft:

  • Jonathan Bullard
  • Harrison Phillips
  • Jerry Tillery
  • Jonah Williams
  • Jaquelin Roy

In order to help recoup for the loss of Danielle Hunter, Minnesota could use some more pass rushing help from a defensive tackle in the draft. Immediately, names like Byron Murphy or Johnny Newton come to mind, but if they are unable to take a DT until the third day of the draft, Maason Smith out of LSU could be a name to keep an eye on.

3. Offensive Line

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Blake Brandel (64) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps the Vikings trust Blake Brandel to hold down the left guard position, but it is still a spot that the offensive lineman has never played at the NFL level. After spending the first few years of his career as a depth tackle for Minnesota, he made the transition to guard in 2023 and made two starts at right guard.

For now, though, Brandel appears to be the only realistic option that the Vikings have at the position, unless they want to trust free agency acquisition Dan Feeney. This comes as a result of Dalton Risner remaining on the free agency market trying to land a lucrative deal.

4. Wide Receiver

Nov 5, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) celebrates after a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are stacked at the top of their wide receiver room with Jordan Addison and Justin Jefferson leading the way. Addison became just the third Viking in franchise history to record 10+ receiving TDs during his rookie season, and Jefferson finished his season with 30 receptions for 476 yards and a pair of touchdowns over the final four games.

However, Minnesota has pretty big questions behind these two players at the position. K.J. Osborn is no longer around to hold down the WR3 spot. The Vikings’ only free agency acquisition at WR is Trent Sherfield, who caught just 11 passes for 86 yards last season in Buffalo. He has recorded less than 100 receiving yards in four of his first six NFL seasons.

Brandon Powell is still around, though, so worst-case scenario, he could very well become a more frequent target in the offense after putting together career-highs in receptions (29) and receiving yards (329).

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.