Vikings 53-man roster predictions following the 2022 NFL Draft

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /

Edge rushers (5)

  • Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, D.J. Wonnum, Kenny Willekes, James Lynch

Creating pressure wasn’t a huge problem for Minnesota in 2021. They were second in quarterback sacks last season with 51, but much of that pressure was created from blitzes and exploiting mismatches.

If Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith can stay healthy, they could be one of the most dynamic pass-rushing duos in the league. Their speed and persistence around the edge will be a huge challenge for blockers and force them to play an honest game with pressure coming from both sides.

D.J. Wonnum got some more experience last year but hasn’t quite taken the next step toward being the Hunter clone people have hoped for. Still, he should be considered the primary backup on this team’s roster.

As backups, Kenny Willekes and James Lynch both had some highlight plays last season while they covered for injuries to the team. Both showed some flashes of playmaking ability, giving them an advantage when it comes to making the 53.