Vikings add former Broncos linebacker to their 2022 defense
By Adam Patrick
On Monday, the Minnesota Vikings announced that they had agreed to a contract with linebacker Andre Mintze, formerly of the Denver Broncos.
With new Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell spending the last three seasons with the Denver Broncos, many figured to see some of his former players end up in the Twin Cities this year.
Cornerback Nate Hairston was the first to make to follow Donatell from the Broncos to the Vikings earlier this year. Former Denver offensive lineman Austin Schlottmann also joined Minnesota this offseason, but it’s hard to believe that the defensive-minded Donatell had much to do with that addition.
On Monday, however, the Vikings added another former Broncos defender to their roster in linebacker Andre Mintze.
What are the Minnesota Vikings getting in former Denver Broncos LB Andre Mintze?
Undrafted out of Vanderbilt last year, Mintze defied the odds and was among the final 53 players to end up on Denver’s final 2021 roster last season.
He didn’t get much playing time (64 snaps on defense and 69 on special teams), but the Broncos clearly saw something in the 6-foot-3, 249-pound linebacker.
Mintze is obviously someone that intrigued Donatell as well since the young linebacker is now a part of his defense in Minnesota. If Mintze makes the regular-season roster, his role with the Vikings will likely be something similar to what it was in Denver last year with the majority of his opportunities coming on special teams.
His stats in college aren’t really going to blow anyone away (just 8.5 sacks). But Mintze is incredibly athletic (40-yard dash time of 4.59 seconds) and his skill-set fits what Minnesota is currently looking for in their linebackers.
He could just end up being another camp body, but Mintze certainly has the potential to make a significant impact for a defense within the next few years.