5 major differences to expect from the Vikings in 2021

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Patrick Peterson /

Productive CB play

The Vikings were well within the right to let Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander all leave at the same time last spring. However, such drastic changes to their cornerback room meant production suffered as a result.

That’s always the problem when you rely on young guys who haven’t quite adjusted. Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler did have some nice moments, but it was a real baptism of fire for the pair during their first season in the pros.

Minnesota has some concerns about Gladney long-term from a legal standpoint, so they were wise to boost their corner options this offseason despite Dantzler having plenty of promise moving forward.

Patrick Peterson is a former All-Pro that was once regarded as one of the best in the business. He might be approaching the twilight of his career, but his presence on the roster will help significantly.

Bashaud Breeland and the returning Alexander only strengthens this unit, giving Mike Zimmer the sort of options that might make all the difference to a defense that went through some significant and surprising struggles in 2020.

Minnesota could bring another player in this area if they eventually decide to part ways with Gladney if his legal issues dictate such a move in the not-too-distant future.