Vikings 2020: Way too early 53-man roster projection

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /

Defensive Ends (4)

  • Danielle Hunter
  • Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • D.J. Wonnum (R)
  • Kenny Willekes (R)

With the departures of Everson Griffen and Stephen Weatherly this year, the Vikings’ group of defensive ends is going to be lacking experience for the first time in a while.

There’s still a chance that Griffen could re-sign before the start of the season. But either way, Minnesota is going to be looking to some of their rookie pass rushers to provide depth in 2020.

Defensive Tackles (5)

  • Michael Pierce
  • Armon Watts
  • Jaleel Johnson
  • James Lynch (R)
  • Hercules Mata’afa

Michael Pierce is already being tabbed as the guy to replace Linval Joseph as the Vikings nose tackle. Pierce has some pretty big shoes to fill (literally), but he’s got the talent to perform just as well as Joseph did for Minnesota’s defense.

The surprise here for some might be the absence of Shamar Stephen. After returning to the Vikings last season, Stephen had a pretty underwhelming 2019 campaign. Instead, Minnesota will go with the younger and cheaper guys like Armon Watts and James Lynch who are capable of creating some legitimate problems for opposing offensive lines.

Linebackers (5)

  • Anthony Barr
  • Eric Kendricks
  • Eric Wilson
  • Troy Dye (R)
  • Cameron Smith

The Vikings’ group of linebackers hasn’t really changed since 2015 when Eric Kendricks arrived. Nothing is going to be much different next season either except for rookie Troy Dye beating out Ben Gedeon for a spot on the team.