Minnesota Vikings pre-training camp 53-man roster prediction

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Za’Darius Smith /

Edge rushers (4)

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

The Minnesota Vikings invested a lot of money into their edge rushers. Outside linebackers Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith are both well-respected when it comes to disrupting opposing quarterbacks and should be among the league leaguers in sacks if they both can stay healthy.

D.J. Wonnum may not have the experience or resume of Hunter or Smith, but he can produce when his number is called. He will likely be the primary backup with second-year defender Patrick Jones II continuing to grow and develop.

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Jordan Hicks /

Middle linebackers (4)

  • Starters: Eric Kendricks, Jordan Hicks
  • Backups: Brian Asamoah, Blake Lynch

Since the outside linebackers are a major strength of the Minnesota Vikings, it is a huge benefit that the team has a duo in the middle to protect the second line of defense. Both Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks are amazing tacklers and will be a great fit in the new 3-4 front.

Past them, Blake Lynch isn’t as athletic as Kendricks or Hicks, but he will be able to be a solid-tackling presence if one of those players is forced to miss a game. Rookie Brian Asamoah has the athleticism to do anything in a 3-4 defense and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the coaching staff be excited to create plays using him.