As the Vikings get ready for Week 1 towards the Packers, there is nevertheless a obtrusive issue. The staff appears to be appreciably enhanced in comparison to 2020 and 2021, at minimum on paper. Even so, the defensive line depth is however a key problem.
KAM and KOC have finished a excellent job in bringing in gamers like Za’Darius Smith and Harrison Phillips. Nonetheless, the depth driving them is still a bit lackluster. There is a severe concern for the Vikings if Smith and/or Hunter irritate their accidents.
There are other concerns with the inside defensive line as well. I discovered throughout the preseason how effortlessly the backup interior defensive line fellas were being moved off the ball. This will not bode nicely around time.
Sooner or later, Harrison Phillips and Dalvin Tomlinson will want a breather. Hopefully, this is only when it is a very clear passing down simply because if it is not, the Vikings are in hassle.
This is an regrettable fact that will be dealt with all 12 months. There was only no way for KAM to make any far more moves than he did this off-time. The positions of will need in the draft have been all in the secondary and offensive line. With any luck ,, this does not arrive again to chunk the Vikings. Let’s take a appear at the backups and their weaknesses.
Vikings Interior Defensive Line Backups are Move Rushers
In accordance to the latest depth chart, the starting defensive line reveals Harrison Phillips at nose deal with with Jonathan Bullard and Dalvin Tomlinson at defensive conclude. Behind individuals 3 are Ross Blacklock, James Lynch, and Esezi Otomewo.
The problem for the Vikings has almost nothing to do with the starters. These fellas were monsters in the restricted action they saw in the preseason. No, the true situation is Blacklock, Lynch, and Otomewo.
1 of Blacklock’s significant concerns in Houston was how simply he got washed out of operating plays. In actuality, it was a person of his weaknesses in his draft profile. If the Vikings end up in a circumstance with Blacklock as a starter, the operate protection could experience immensely. Nevertheless, the Vikings will benefit from his quickness in stunts on passing downs.
Lynch is an fascinating participant. He has had quite a few ups and downs. Having said that, the image of Lynch staying pancaked by the Broncos middle in the preseason is seared into my brain. That complete sport felt like a operate protection catastrophe. It will be appealing to see how the Vikings use Lynch in this defensive scheme. Maybe that play was an anomaly, and he will enjoy far better in the typical period.
And lastly, Otomewo is a rookie who has but to see NFL action in opposition to starting up excellent offensive linemen. His draft profile implies that he is capable of preserving gap integrity. This will be anything to enjoy for if we see him rotating throughout the typical period.
Eventually, there is a whole lot to be preferred with these backups. Ideally, we do not require to use them regularly, as that could guide to identical defensive struggles we observed in 2020 and 2021.
Mitch Massman is a existence-extended Vikings admirer. His initially heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship match. His comprehensive-time task is as an economic improvement qualified in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings successful a Tremendous Bowl just one working day, but until then he will publish about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3