5 candidates to be the Vikings third starting linebacker in 2021

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Troy Dye
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Troy Dye /
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Ryan Connelly Minnesota Vikings
Ryan Connelly (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Ryan Connelly

Connelly only played one defensive snap in 2020 for the Minnesota Vikings but got in on 198 special teams plays, proving that the team likes his ability to contain ball carriers and tackle efficiently when needed.

Six tackles aren’t going open anyone’s eyes from the 2020 campaign but he started three games with the Giants in 2019 and played in four contests where he had 20 tackles, two interceptions, two tackles for a loss, and one sack.

Even though he’s not a proven commodity, the 25-year-old Eden Prairie, Minnesota native has flashed enough to have the potential to be relied on for short bursts in a starting lineup and will compete for the opportunity to do just that this year.

At 6’2 and 236 pounds, he has the size and power needed to hold down the edge. He will face tough competition for the job, including players younger and faster, but don’t rule Connelly out of the race.