Per the Vikings’ GM, A Recent FA Addition is Set to Become Minnesota’s “Mr. Do Everything”

Training Camp Report Dates
Jun 11, 2019; Eagan, MN, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the field at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Andrew Van Ginkel may be a bit overlooked among fans, but the Vikings’ GM knows what the defender can offer.

Go watch the opening press conference that featured the former Dolphin alongside Blake Cashman and Jonathan Greenard. The former Texans dominated the airwaves, doing more talking than Van Ginkel. But while the soft-spoken defender may take a backseat in a press conference, Van Ginkel isn’t likely to take a backseat on Sundays.

KFAN’s Paul Allen explores the idea in the recent sit down with Minnesota’s general manager.

The popular announcer spent quite a bit of time going back and forth with Kwesi Adofo-Mensah about the versatile defender. Allen sees the edge rusher as a “sweetheart of a human being” who is very “smart.” Adofo-Mensah, for his part, suggests that Van Ginkel is “Mr. Do Everything.” “I don’t think there’s a single thing on defense he can’t do,” Adofo-Mensah adds.

The Vikings’ GM Sees Andrew Van Ginkel as Minnesota’s “Mr. Do Everything”

So far, Andrew Van Ginkel has spent his career in Miami.

The versatile defender was chosen 151st back in 2019. At 6’4″, 242, Van Ginkel has the kind of the height and weight that suggests he can function at different spots within a front seven. The Dolphins certainly leaned into that reality.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (43) and defensive tackle Zach Sieler (92) celebrate a sack against the New York Giants during the second half of an NFL game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 8, 2023.

In 2023, Van Ginkel picked up 561 snaps as an edge rusher and then 105 snaps in the box as an off-ball linebacker. He also got tossed into the slot for 56 snaps and then he had 3 snaps as a free safety alongside 1 snap playing corner.

For his efforts, PFF assigned an elite 91.1 grade.

The traditional stats are impressive, as well. Across 17 games and 11 starts, the defender picked up 726 snaps. Those plays led to 69 tackles, 6 sacks, 19 QB hits, 8 tackles for a loss, 1 interception, and 8 passes defended. Plus, he jumped into 138 snaps with the special teams, suggesting he’ll do all kinds of jobs to help a team win.

Dec 17, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian (14) attempts a pass under pressure form Miami Dolphins linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (43) during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The GM loves the versatility that Van Ginkel offers: “As a general manager, it gives you comfort when you can kind of pencil somebody into different spots. He can play edge, he can drop. I would say, if not the best dropper in the NFL, with his instincts, his ability to get out in space.” But then he’s someone who has “shown that he has a complement of moves that can stress tackles” and is an “incredibly versatile player, smart, just everything we want as a Viking. The hair doesn’t hurt, either.”

Indeed, Van Ginkel does have luscious locks, the kind hair that will bring up memories of Clay Matthews. More important than the hair and the potential for doing tremendous shampoo commercials (à la Troy Polamalu) is what Van Ginkel can offer with his versatility.

Brian Flores is going to move the defender around the defense in search of favorable matchups. Being able to pickup sacks and QB hits is what fans are looking to see but being excellent in pass coverage is an overlooked part of his game. The corner position got some help with the Shaq Griffin add but don’t overlook the importance of how Blake Cashman and Van Ginkel can help in pass coverage.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores watches his team play against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

On July 1st, Andrew Van Ginkel is going to turn 29, so he doesn’t offer the same youth as some of the other additions. Where Van Ginkel can shine, though, is in his high-level understanding of the game and in his ability to do many things well. He’s the kind of player who can thrive individually while making his teammates better.

Keep an eye on the defender once September arrives. He’s one of the keys to pushing that Flores defense higher.

His cap hit in 2024 is a modest $3.4 million.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference, PFF, and Over the Cap helped with this piece.

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.