5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers – Week 8

(Photo by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) D.J. Wonnum /

Wonnum will overtake Holmes at defensive end

The most surprising development of the Vikings bye week was the trade that sent Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens.

Ngakoue was acquired just prior to the start of the season, but never really fit in with what the Vikings wanted to do. While Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman has egg on his face, the move should allow younger players to get more playing time and show what they can do.

If Minnesota is smart, they would throw out fourth-round pick D.J. Wonnum onto the field more. Labeled as co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson’s “pet cat,” Wonnum has slowly started to find his way onto the field for the Vikings in the last few weeks.

The results haven’t been great with Wonnum only producing four pressures on 70 pass-rushing snaps. But his pass-rushing productivity grade (3.6) is still better than current projected starter Jayln Holmes.

There will be a temptation for Mike Zimmer and his staff to keep the veteran Holmes out there in an effort to preserve the pursuit for a 10-6 season, but we already know what Holmes is. At 1-5, now is the time to give younger players an opportunity to get reps and become a key contributor in 2021.