5 surprising decisions the Vikings could make before the 2021 season

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) D.J. Wonnum /

Keep a dozen defensive linemen

Mike Zimmer was obviously hell-bent on improving his defense this offseason and that was evident by all the players the Vikings brought in during free agency and the draft. It was almost ridiculous, as the team kept signing players. Now there’s a logjam across the defensive line and it is enough to make many fans wonder how all these players are going to fit on the roster.

While the logical choice is to say they won’t, maybe Zimmer is planning on getting nutty and going outside the box and is planning to keep a dozen of these big, beefy bull rushers. In recent seasons the Vikings kept 10 defensive linemen. This year it will be awfully hard to cut these players down to that number.

Let’s take a look at the depth chart. Danielle Hunter, Stephen Weatherly, Patrick Jones, D.J. Wonnum are all locks to make the team. Janarius Robinson, Kenny Willekes, Jalyn Holmes, and Jordan Brailford will also be in the mix. Those are just the defensive ends and we are already at eight.

Michael Pierce, Dalvin Tomlinson, Sheldon Richardson are definite locks at defensive tackle. Armon Watts likely is as well, and players like James Lynch, Hercules Mata’afa, and even Jaylen Twyman, health depending, have strong shots at cracking the roster.

That’s 15 players who have a real shot at making this team, and if we cut it down to 12, there’ll be some very talented players looking for work early this September. The Vikings appear to want to keep their pass rushers and run stuffers fresh this upcoming season by using a rotation, so keeping a record number could be a real possibility.