4 Vikings we can safely call busts after the 2022 season

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr.
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Irv Smith Jr. /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) James Lynch /

James Lynch – DT

James Lynch was a fourth-round pick by the Vikings back in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was coming off a monster season at Baylor where he had 13.5 sacks and nearly 20 tackles for a loss.

When Minnesota took him there was hope he would be able to transfer that interior pressure to the NFL. The belief was that he could be a situational piece who could occasionally pressure and sack the quarterback, in a similar way that Tom Johnson did for the Vikings in his run with the team.

After three seasons in the league, Lynch looks more like Tom Compton than Tom Johnson. The redhead has mustered just two career sacks. In addition to that thin stat line, he’s totaled 53 tackles, four tackles for a loss, and a fumble recovery. He just hasn’t measured up to being a fourth-round pick.

In Lynch’s defense, he has had to play in different schemes that required him to do different things. He’s at his best when just going full boar at the quarterback. He doesn’t have the size to hold his ground and be a force in the run game.

The hope for James Lynch was that he could be a situational pass rusher who gives the team a handful of sacks a season. He has yet to develop into that role, and it’s safe to say he never will.