4 Vikings players who need to realize their potential in 2021

(Photo by Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /
5 of 5
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Nick Vigil /

Nick Vigil – LB

Another notable arrival for the Vikings during free agency this year was Nick Vigil. The linebacker should play a substantial role after deciding to move on from the Los Angeles Chargers, where he performed adequately in a rotational role without ever firmly establishing himself as an important member of their defense.

There could be an opportunity awaiting him in Minnesota, who lost Eric Wilson this offseason after he opted to join the Philadelphia Eagles.

All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks will handle the middle once again for the Vikings, and hopefully, for him and the team, he can avoid the injury problems that restricted him in 2020.

Anthony Barr’s return to health is another big boost for Minnesota heading into next season. So if Vigil can make his presence felt, it will enable the second level of the defense to become an area of real strength once again for the Vikings.

Much will obviously depend on how well Vigil integrates himself onto a defense that should be far better in 2021 after some heavy investments were made during the last few months. If he proves to be a valuable cog and lives up to expectations, then his performance could be another deciding factor behind Minnesota’s potential return to the postseason.

Must Read. 4 Vikings players who could emerge as alphas in 2021. light

Only time will tell whether the former third-round pick out of Utah State is capable of this. But he does have the size, strength, and aggressiveness that fits the mold of what Mike Zimmer normally builds from a defensive standpoint.