How can the Vikings replace Joseph?
Anyone coming in to replace Linval Joseph for the Minnesota Vikings is going to have big shoes to fill.
The formidable defensive tackle is a big personality that impacts his teammates in a positive way, which was matched by his performance on the field. The Vikings will have to strike gold if they want someone who can come in and match Joseph’s production if he is inevitably released.
Given the financial constraints the Vikings’ are dealing with, the best option might be to scour the incoming college recruits and use a high-end NFL Draft pick to fill the void. There is plenty of projected first-round players at the position that will be within Minnesota’s reach either at the No.25 selection or by trading up a few spots.
They have plenty of needs in other positions so Minnesota will not want to give up too much draft capital if they want to pursue someone like South Carolina’s prominent interior disruptor Javon Kinlaw. Players like Ross Blacklock, Raekwon Davis, and Justin Madubuike are more realistic options and may be available without having to move up.
Finding someone to match Joseph’s consistency will be difficult in free agency. Defensive tackles who play at a high level do not tend to hit the market too often and the Vikings might go for a seasoned veteran on a short-term deal to plug the hole while a rookie learns the ropes.
This is far from an ideal situation and there can be no more room for error.