Super early 22-man starter projections for the 2022 Vikings

(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn
(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /

Starting Outside Linebackers

  • Danielle Hunter – LOLB

With the Vikings switching to a 3-4 base defense, Danielle Hunter will be lining up in a new position next season.

No worries though, Hunter should be able to excel in his new role and continue to be one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL.

The biggest concern about him is his health. Hunter has only appeared in seven games since 2020 due to injury and Minnesota can’t afford to lose him for a significant amount of time again next season.

  • Za’ Darius Smith – ROLB

The Vikings’ top free-agent signing of the year, Za’Darius Smith and his new team will be hoping that the pass rusher returns to his Pro Bowl form in 2022.

Like Hunter, Smith also has injury concerns. He was only on the field for two games last season (including the playoffs) due to injury and that cannot happen in 2022.

If he and Hunter can stay healthy for the majority of the season, they have the potential to emerge as the best pass-rushing duo in the entire NFL.