3 affordable pass rushers the Vikings can sign to replace Za'Darius Smith

Markus Golden
Markus Golden / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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Markus Golden

2022 Team: Arizona Cardinals

2022 Stats

  • 17 games (14 starts)
  • 48 tackles (7 for a loss)
  • 46 pressures, 2.5 sacks

After a performance in 2021 in which he finished with 11 sacks, Markus Golden saw his sack total dip all the way down to 2.5 last season. Despite his sack numbers falling, Golden was still able to put plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks in 2022.

Golden's 46 pressures last season were more than what any current Vikings defender not named Danielle Hunter was able to generate in 2022. So he was still playing at a high level last year, most of his pressures just weren't turning into sacks like they were in 2021.

Since they signed Marcus Davenport earlier this offseason, Minnesota doesn't exactly have an urgent need for someone to come in and replace Za'Darius Smith in the starting lineup. Golden is capable of starting, but utilizing him as more of a situational pass-rusher is something that the Vikings would likely do if they signed him.