4 big plans that could go wrong for the Vikings in 2022
By Dean Jones
Overreliance on Dalvin Tomlinson
Switching to a 3-4 defense is another fascinating element for the Vikings under their new regime. This takes Danielle Hunter off the defensive front and also piles more pressure on Dalvin Tomlinson to build on an encouraging first season with the franchise in 2021.
Tomlinson arrived in free agency from the New York Giants last spring and made an instant impression. He excels against the run and can generate pressure when required, but experienced options around the defensive tackle appear slim after Michael Pierce became an expected salary-cap casualty this offseason.
According to ESPN’s depth chart, Harrison Phillips and Jaylen Twyman are slotted to start alongside Tomlinson on the defensive front. The guys at OurLads.com went with Armon Watts instead of the Pittsburgh product, which might be the better option initially.
Either way, there is an increased reliance on Tomlinson whichever way one looks at it. How he copes will play a leading role in the Vikings’ fortunes on defense next season.
There’s nothing to suggest Tomlinson cannot do his part. It’s more a case of whether others can make the most of increased roles within Ed Donatell’s system.
This will be another layer to Minnesota’s campaign worth monitoring. Tomlinson has the skills and hopes are high that younger linemen can make the necessary improvements to get this proud franchise on the right track.