Minnesota Vikings News Roundup: Intriguing Defensive Tackles Emerge in FA

We’re in a bit of a weird spot for news, folks. For the most part, football writers are focusing their attention on the draft (it’s less than two weeks away!). Mock drafts abound, and there is good reason to devote some attention to the prospect speculation. Before we get there, though, let’s briefly focus on some intriguing possibilities for the Vikings at defensive tackle. We finish things off with some discussion of TVG and broader Vikings chatter.

The Vikings and The FA Defensive Tackles

Our Minnesota Vikings added depth to their roster during the offseason, especially on the defensive side of things. That being said, one area that could still use some work is the defensive line. Dalvin Tomlinson will make a difference, but it’s somewhat of a peculiar fit given that Michael Pierce is also returning. The team doesn’t really have a great 3T.

Recently, the Raiders made the strange decision to cut Maurice Hurst. In his three-year NFL career, Hurst has generated a 78.3 pass rush score on PFF. The Vikings should be supremely interested in bringing him in. Heading into the draft, Hurst was identified as a first-round talent, even drawing some comparisons to Aaron Donald. Unfortunately, a serious health concern meant he fell in the draft. When he has played, Hurst has been a productive pass rusher along the interior.

The news also emerged recently that Sheldon Richardson has been cut by the Browns. He is a little older now, but for the right price he would upgrade our depth along the interior. In all likelihood, the Vikings would wait until after the draft before making a move for Richardson. Their familiarity with him may make a deal easier to figure out.

The Mock Drafts

The lines continue to reign.

Charles Casserley has the Vikings trading down and still being able to snag Christian Darrisaw, a move I’d heartily support. Mel Kiper similarly identified Darrisaw in his most recent mock: “That’s four mock drafts for the 2021 class for me, and four offensive linemen to Minnesota in the first round. It’s a glaring hole on this roster. Darrisaw was outstanding at left tackle for the Hokies last season; our Stats & Info team tracked him at 264 total pass-block plays, and he allowed just three pressures and one sack. Put him at left tackle on Day 1 for the Vikings.” The recent CBS mock has us snagging Alijah Vera-Tucker in RD1.

Otherwise, the name you’re most likely to see is Kwity Paye. That said, Charles Davis did recently mock Jaelen Phillips to the Vikings. Both players are really intriguing, and adding another defensive end does make sense. Even still, either move would be surprising.

The team’s leadership has almost backed themselves into a corner at this point by not bringing in o-line talent during free agency. Expect it to be the o-line in Round 1.

TVG and Vikings Chatter

From my perspective, one of the most interesting things on TVG this week was the interview with Ali. Otherwise, folks might be interested in our consideration of what trading down could look like, concerns about the special teams, and how Minnesota has kicked the can down the road. We even had a post from Cole covering yet another Vikings draft bust: Laquon Treadwell.

Not too long ago, I was fortunate to interview Drew, Ted, and Toonces from The Vikings Report. Their 16th episode was just uploaded earlier today. Vikings Territory‘s Dustin Baker wrote about how Penei Sewell could end up in Minnesota. Over at The Draft Team, Kirby takes a few moments to discuss Spielman’s “Hit Rate” in past drafts.

Conclusion

Reader, know that you are appreciated. Giving us a few moments of your time means a lot to us! Enjoy the mock draft speculation, and stay safe out there. Skol.