6 under-the-radar candidates to be the next Vikings head coach

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) DeMeco Ryans
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) DeMeco Ryans /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Mike McDaniel /

Mike McDaniel

Current Role:

  • San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator

At first glance, some might mistake Mike McDaniel as someone who looks (and sounds) like he plays video games for a living after leaving his previous job as a computer repair technician at the Apple store.

But then you do a little more digging and you come to find out the 49ers 38-year-old offensive coordinator is one what would call an “elite football mind”.

McDaniel’s background is working in the same zone-based scheme that the Vikings have already been running on the offensive side of the ball for the last few seasons. So if that is the direction Minnesota’s new general manager feels is best for the team’s current roster, then McDaniel might be the guy to replace Mike Zimmer.

If the Vikings also decide to keep Kirk Cousins as their starting quarterback for at least one more year, hiring McDaniel as their new head coach might help the team reap a lot more of the benefits from the veteran signal-calller that they were hoping for when they first signed him in 2018.

McDaniel is only 38-years-old, but he’s been in the NFL since 2005 when he was an intern with the Denver Broncos under former head coach Mike Shanahan.

So he’s got plenty of experience at the professional level and he comes from the Shanahan coaching tree that has produced several of the league’s top head coaches including Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, and Kyle Shanahan.