5 defensive prospects for the Vikings to watch at the 2021 Senior Bowl

(Photo by Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaka Toney
(Photo by Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaka Toney /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Rashad Weaver /

Rashad Weaver – DE (Pitt)

The Vikings’ pass rush has to improve if the team is going to compete in 2021. They should get a huge boost with Danielle Hunter returning to the lineup after missing the entire 2020 season. But they still need more than just that.

Minnesota learned in 2020 that Ifeadi Odenigbo is not a starter in the NFL and he is much better off suited as a rotational pass rusher. That is what it is, but the Vikings also found out that their fourth-round rookie D.J. Wonnum can get to the passer. But making Wonnum a starter in year two could be a little much.

Minnesota needs to probably add a couple more pass rushers to their depth chart and one player who would be a great fit, who just happens to be down in Mobile this week, is Pittsburgh’s Rashad Weaver.

Weaver has ideal size at 6-foot-5 and 270 pounds, with arms that seem to go on forever. He doesn’t explode off the football the way some defensive ends do, but he is sneaky fast, and he can close in a hurry. He’s also able to use his large wingspan to bat passes down once they are thrown.

Weaver is a guy who could excel under the tutelage of Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson. He may need a year to acclimate to the NFL level, but he has all the necessary tools to be an excellent pass rusher in the league for a long period of time.