Vikings post-minicamp 53-man roster prediction

(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn and Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn and Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Danielle Hunter /

Edge rushers (4)

  • Danielle Hunter, Patrick Jones II, Za’Darius Smith, D.J. Wonnum

If Minnesota Vikings fans are excited about any part of the new defense, it should be the outside linebackers. Combining Danielle Hunter with Za’Darius Smith is a recipe for success if the two can stay healthy, they should be one of the most feared edge-rushing duos in the league.

D.J. Wonnum shared a lot of traits with Hunter, making him a great choice to be the primary backup. As a starter last year, he had eight sacks and four pass defenses and should continue to improve as he gains experience.

Patrick Jones isn’t as experienced and is still a bit of an unknown, but found action in nine games last year and earned seven tackles.

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /

Middle linebackers (4)

  • Brian Asamoah, Jordan Hicks, Eric Kendricks, Blake Lynch

If you want good tacklers who are reliable players and can be versatile enough to rush a passer or drop into coverage, the duo of Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks should be hard for opposing teams to break through. Last year, Kendricks had 143 combined tackles for Minnesota in 15 games while Hicks accumulated 116 for Arizona in 17 games.

Backing them up would be a great role for athletic newcomer Brian Asamoah because of his range and athleticism. Plus, Blake Lynch is a smart defender and although he’s not as athletic as Asamoah, he is a sturdy and reliable backup.