5 first-round targets for the Vikings in the 2022 NFL Draft

(Photo by Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) Carson Strong
(Photo by Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) Carson Strong /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Aidan Hutchinson /

Aidan Hutchinson – DE (Michigan)

Devastating news was handed to the Vikings this week when it was revealed that defensive end Danielle Hunter is done for the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the team’s Week 8 loss to the Cowboys.

Hunter could potentially be a free agent in 2022 and his latest injury could result in Minnesota letting him sign elsewhere. If this happens, the Vikings could turn to next year’s NFL Draft to find his replacement.

In terms of defensive end prospects, Aidan Hutchinson is regarded as one of the best in the 2022 class. What should make Hutchinson stand out to Minnesota though is his abilities as a run defender.

He’s shown the ability to get to the opposing quarterback during his time at Michigan, but the Vikings have struggled against the run this season, and the 6-foot-6, 269-pound defensive end could make an immediate impact for the team in this department.