Will the Vikings miss Griffen?
In what has been a tradition over the past couple of years, the Vikings have transitioned on their defensive line from aging veterans to younger players with more upside. Just as Brian Robison was released in 2018, another veteran presumably bit the dust this offseason with Everson Griffen’s departure.
That puts the spotlight on a couple of players to replace Griffen’s production, but none more so than Ifeadi Odenigbo.
The Northwestern product has worked his way up from being a seventh-round pick, to a practice squad member, into a part-time rotational role last season. His first year with regular playing time went well as Odenigbo recorded seven sacks while also showing the ability to play on the edge or in the middle of the defensive line.
A versatile piece along the defensive line is good, but the question of what’s behind Odenigbo is also a valid one. Whereas the Vikings had Odenigbo to spell Griffen last season, they could look to a combination of Anthony Zettel (who hasn’t recorded a sack since 2017) and rookies D.J. Wonnum and Kenny Willekes, who are wild cards in Minnesota’s draft class.
Either way, it appears that the Vikings are going to move on from Griffen at some point. But it will be curious to see if they’ll regret letting him leave.