Minnesota Vikings: Way-too-early 53-man roster projection

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /

Defensive line (9)

  • Jalyn Holmes
  • Danielle Hunter
  • Patrick Jones II
  • James Lynch
  • Hercules Mata’afa
  • Michael Pierce
  • Dalvin Tomlinson
  • Armon Watts
  • Stephen Weatherly

There was a lot said about the disappointing and atrocious play of the offensive line last season, but the defensive line was more harmful to the success of the Minnesota Vikings since they couldn’t generate sacks and the run defense was nearly non-existent.

The Minnesota Vikings were without Danielle Hunter due to injury and Michael Pierce sat out due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020 and both are expected to return at full strength to unleash havoc on the NFL this season. Dalvin Tomlinson should be starting next to Pierce at defensive tackle with an open competition going on for the final starting spot on the line.

Stephen Weatherly has the upper hand in the battle to start with Jalyn Holmes having flashed a few times and Patrick Jones II bringing a lot of rookie talent to the position and could be the wild card in the race.

James Lynch, Hercules Mata’afa, and Armon Watts will be rotational and backup players as well as contributors on special teams. Each offers a special skill set that gives them enough value to make them an interesting fit on the 2021 Minnesota Vikings roster.