4 underrated Vikings who could make a major impact in 2024

Minnesota Vikings CB Andrew Booth Jr.
Minnesota Vikings CB Andrew Booth Jr. / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

The Minnesota Vikings are gearing up for the 2024 NFL Draft, and all eyes are on the young prospects who could help the team during the upcoming 2024 season and beyond. While that excitement intensifies every single day as we inch closer to draft day, there are some players already on the team who could be in line for a big role in 2024.

These are players whose play this season could determine how competitive the team can be in 2024. Some of these players are new to the team, and others have been here for a couple of seasons. Some are already entrenched as starters and others are backups who are trying to climb the depth chart.

No matter what their status is, they are being underrated and could end up being some of the most impactful players for the 2024 Minnesota Vikings. Let's go over four of them.

4 underrated Minnesota Vikings who could make a major impact in 2024

Ed Ingram - OG

Ed Ingram is already the starting right guard for the Vikings. It's a position he's held since he came into the league as a rookie and the results have been a mixed bag. He was below average as a rookie. He struggled to hold up in pass protection and was the cause of more than one turnover, as he had a tendency to step on his quarterback's foot or even knock the ball out of his hands.

Ingram will be the starter again in 2024, but the fact that makes him underrated is that no one is expecting him to continue to develop. He made pretty big strides in his second year. He cut out the timing issues with his quarterback that led to turnovers, and he was a more complete blocker, showing some ability to hold up in passing situations.

No one is talking about Ingram taking the next step, and that is a little odd. He's had three years now in the same offensive system. He has seen just about everything a defense can throw at him, and now he can apply those lessons to the technique he will continue to hone over minicamps and the preseason. He should take another step forward in that process, and that could lead to him becoming an above-average starter and even one who many consider to be dominant.

Andrew Booth Jr. - CB

Andrew Booth Jr. finally started to show some signs late in the 2023 season. He was put on the field due to injury, and the dude held his own and graded out well. It's not unheard of for a cornerback to take a leap in year three, and the Vikings and GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah especially have to be hoping that's the case for Booth.

Booth has the physical skill set to be a solid starter in the league. He's 6-foot and 194 pounds with gangly arms. For whatever reason, it just hasn't clicked for him at the NFL level. Maybe that's because of the injury he suffered in his knee. That can take a while to recover from not just physically, but also mentally. That set Booth back, and maybe those signs we saw late last season were just a teaser of things to come.

The Vikings cornerback depth chart isn't overly deep. Byron Murphy and either Mekhi Blackmon or Shaq Griffin will be the starters, with the odd man out lining up in the slot. Behind those three is where the questions begin to arise. Will it be Booth to step up, or will Akayleb Evans bounce back from a rough finish to the season? It could also be a rookie who emerges as that option. Booth isn't receiving a lot of love at the moment, but he's a dark horse to be a force for the Vikings in 2024.

Shaq Griffin - CB

Shaq Griffin was signed by the Vikings in the second wave of free agency. Just because he wasn't an immediate signing doesn't mean he's not going to have an impact. When taking a quick peruse of the Vikings cornerback depth chart, it becomes apparent Griffin is in for loads of playing time and will likely start on the outside.

Behind Griffin are Mekhi Blackmon, Andrew Booth Jr., and Akayleb Evans. Blackmon will be his top competition to start opposite Murphy, but his best position may be in the slot. Evans had a horrible finish to the end of the 2024 season, and Booth still hasn't put it all together. Griffin will be asked to have a large role, and how he performs could be key to how many W's the Vikings pick up in 2024.

It's not often a player who is signed in the second wave of free agency has a major impact on his team, but Griffin has a chance to flourish under Brian Flores. This will be good for the Vikings and Griffin, as it could land him a fat payday in free agency in 2025 and wins for the Vikings in 2024.

John Parker Romo - K

Yep, I'm putting the kicker on the list. As of this writing, he's the only kicker on the Vikings roster. The draft could change things. The Vikings could also choose to bring in a veteran at some point, but they opted for Parker Romo over some crusty older guys, so that could mean they are willing to give him a shot at the job.

Parker Romo has never attempted a field goal in the NFL. He spent some time with the Lions, Saints, and Bears but never made it out of camp. He did kick for the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL and is familiar with the new kickoff rule the NFL adapted from that league. In the XFL, he hit 17 of 19 field goals for an 89.5 kicking percentage. He also has a record for the longest field goal made at 58 yards, so there is plenty of leg strength.

The Vikings haven't had the best luck with the kicker position, so why not just give this guy all the reps and see how he does? If it looks like a disaster by mid-August, then the Vikings can go out and sign an old dude like Mason Crosby. However, if Parker Romo looks good in camp and is consistent, he could have a very big role and even be a major weapon for the 2024 Vikings.

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