4 Vikings players Brian Flores will want to keep in 2023

(Photo by Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports) Za'Darius Smith
(Photo by Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports) Za'Darius Smith /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) Za’Darius Smith /

Za’Darius Smith – DE/OLB

There were plenty of rumblings that Za’Darius Smith would be a cap casualty for the Vikings this offseason. That seemed like a given if the new defensive coordinator was going to run a base 4-3 front. With Brian Flores now in town, signs point to keeping Smith for another season in purple.

Flores is all about creating pressure. He loves exotic blitz packages and utilizes pass rushers all over the place. Smith is a pressure-creating machine and while he started off hot for the Vikings last season before going ice cold, he still can bring the heat.

Flores will take the reigns off of Smith and allow him to constantly attack. With Danielle Hunter on the other side, and plenty of other players blitzing at the line of scrimmage Smith could have the type of season that many thought he would in 2022.

Flores is inheriting a group that is aging and lacking playmakers. He’ll want to keep one of the biggest ones on the roster and make him one of the focal pieces of his new Minnesota defense.

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