5 biggest winners from the Vikings 2023 preseason opener

Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler
Minnesota Vikings running back Ty Chandler / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages
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Winner No. 4

Luiji Vilain - OLB

The Vikings starting edge rushers are set with Danielle Hunter joining free-agent acquisition Marcus Davenport. But with the Vikings looking to add depth, Luiji Vilain’s performance was an encouraging development as he made an impact on Thursday night.

Vilain was all over for the Vikings' defense, recording a team-high three quarterback hits. While PFF’s pressure numbers have yet to be released, he made life difficult on Drew Lock, who did a majority of his damage (including two touchdowns in the second half).

Vilian was an undrafted free agent out of Wake Forest last year and was a surprise when he made the final 53-man roster. Although he played primarily on special teams, the 6-foot-4, 252-pound edge rusher has the size to become an effective player and is starting to show the ability to match.

If he continues to take another step, the Vikings could have depth in the edge rusher room for the first time in a while.