Minnesota Vikings: Projecting starters for the 2021 season

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /

Defensive Line

  • DE: Danielle Hunter
  • DT: Michael Pierce
  • DT: Dalvin Tomlinson
  • DE: Jalyn Holmes

The defensive line was horrible in 2020, but the return of two defenders should make this unit immediately better. Danielle Hunter is an absolute monster who should be top-ten in sacks and a consistent nuisance to opposing offenses.

Also, Michael Pierce sitting out last season was a big loss. Having him available for 2021 adds a massive presence to the defensive line and should prevent things like what happened with Alvin Kamara last season from happening again.

Minnesota made an unconventional move by doubling down on the big men in the middle on defense and signing Dalvin Tomlinson. While it looks weird on paper, there is no reason the Vikings can’t play situationally and rotate in more pass rushers on obvious passing downs while ensuring their defense remains stout in the middle.

Finally, the last spot here is the most debatable. Jalyn Holmes gets the nod here based on his experience and returns as the starter who took over when Yannick Ngakoue was traded away. However, it could be just about anyone who wins this job, including Stephen Weatherly, Patrick Jones II, or D.J. Wonnum. This is one of the best competitions to watch this offseason.