4 Vikings players the team shouldn’t give up on yet

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Ifeadi Odenigbo
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Ifeadi Odenigbo /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Ifeadi Odenigbo /

Ifeadi Odenigbo – DE

There was plenty of hype surrounding Ifeadi Odenigbo as the 2020 season approached. He was coming off a breakout season where he had seven sacks and played with a ton of energy, speed, and aggression. He was tabbed as the next breakout lineman from pass-rushing whisperer Andre Patterson and was looked at as a probable starter next to Danielle Hunter.

Things went sour quickly, Hunter got hurt, the team traded for Yannick Ngakoue, and Odenigbo regressed. Though his snap count increased, Odenigbo’s production went down. His tackles went up to 35, but his pass-rushing production dropped to a measly 3.5 sacks and just 3 tackles for a loss. Despite playing in only six games for the Vikings, Ngakoue had 1.5 more sacks than Odenigbo, which is pretty embarrassing.

Despite the down year, the Vikings shouldn’t give up on Odenigbo just yet. Perhaps he’s not cut out to be a starter. The team should look to put him back into his situational pass-rushing role and see if he can find the success he did in 2019 coming off the bench. The team could draft an edge rusher to start opposite Hunter or put Wonnum in that role. Odenigbo can rotate in with one of those guys and hopefully see his production swing back upward to the 2019 levels.