DT Armon Watts
Armon Watts has a golden opportunity in front of him. With Michael Piece opting out, and the trade for PJ Hall falling through, he’ll be one of the few guys competing to be the Vikings’ nose tackle this season. His primary competition will be the veteran Shamar Stephen, but Jaleel Johnson could also get worked in at nose and be an obstacle in the way of Watts’ dreams of starting.
Watts was impressive as a rookie last season. He didn’t come in until about halfway through the season but was able to make some plays. He split between playing nose tackle and three-technique and actually did well at both. He was able to anchor against the run and also provide interior pressure. It was disappointing he was lost to injury late in the season because this is a player who proved worthy of much more playing time.
Watts was recently activated from the COVID-19 PUP list and is ready to roll. He’s healthy, motivated, and could be one of the standout players on the Vikings’ defensive line this preseason. If that happens, he won’t just be Mr. Mankato, Watts will be the Minnesota Vikings starter at nose tackle.