4 underutilized Vikings who should see more snaps in 2022

(Photo by Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) Jalen Reagor
(Photo by Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) Jalen Reagor /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Patrick Jones II /

Patrick Jones II – OLB

During their first three games of the season, the Vikings’ pass rush was able to generate a significant amount of pressure against their opponents as they averaged 16 per contest according to PFF.

In their win over the New Orleans Saints last week, however, Minnesota was only able to generate a total of seven pressures. This likely had a lot to do with the health of Vikings pass rusher Za’Darius Smith as he was playing through a knee injury and he was limited to just 24 defensive snaps during the matchup.

The fact that Smith even being slightly hurt had a significant impact on Minnesota’s pass rush should let them know that they need to mix in more players on pass-rushing downs to avoid such a big dropoff in the future.

Patrick Jones II is someone who could probably be involved more with the Vikings’ pass rush. Jones only has 27 pass-rush snaps this year according to PFF, but he’s been able to generate pressure on 15 percent of these pass-rushing opportunities. That’s a better pressure rate than what Smith (12 percent), Danielle Hunter (six percent), or D.J. Wonnum (nine percent) have produced so far this season.

Against the Saints, Jones only had four pass-rush snaps. Had he been given more opportunities to get after the opposing quarterback, then perhaps Minnesota’s pass rush wouldn’t have felt so depleted with an ailing Smith in the lineup.