6 Vikings players who could be nice surprises in 2024

Sam Darnold
Sam Darnold / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Fans and experts could be pleasantly surprised if these Minnesota Vikings players perform well during the 2024 NFL season.

It's hard to know which players will have great seasons and who will struggle to contribute during each season. Unless it is an established star player, many individuals can have varying results, including players on the Minnesota Vikings roster.

For some players, expectations can low or non-existent only for them to surprise fans and the media by finding unexpected ways to contribute or putting together the skills they worked on during the offseason, training camp, and the preseason.

There are six players on the Vikings' roster who could be very pleasant surprises for the Minnesota Vikings during the upcoming season. Let's take a look at those individuals and why they have the opportunity to open some eyes this season.

Minnesota Vikings players who could be pleasant surprises

Sam Darnold, quarterback

Fans don't have the highest expectations for Sam Darnold during his first season in Minnesota. Even if his only role for the Vikings is to keep the seat warm for the team's next starting quarterback, he will have some opportunities to thrive.

Darnold is 26 years old and already has 56 starts on his resume. He started one game for the San Francisco 49ers last season but has Kevin O'Connell's support to elevate his game moving forward. Judging him based on past performances with the Jets and Panthers seems unfair considering the status of those organizations at that time.

Blake Brandel, offensive line

If the 2024 NFL season were to start today, Blake Brandel would likely be penciled in as the team's starting left guard. Although he shouldn't be compared to the previous starter Dalton Risner, Brandel has started five games for Minnesota over his last two seasons and could be ready for a bigger role.

There is a chance the Vikings sign someone else to play right guard or look to the 2024 NFL Draft to fill the position, but Brandel could be a solid blocker in a full-time role if given the opportunity during the upcoming season.

John Parker Romo, kicker

Unless you follow the XFL or are a big fan of preseason football, odds are that you have no idea who John Parker Romo is...and that's okay. Last year's kicker, Greg Joseph, signed with the Green Bay Packers, ensuring that there will be a new kicker in Minnesota this season.

Romo was named to the All-XFL team last season and has proven to have a big leg. During his time in the XFL, he hit 89.5 percent of his field goals, including a career-long and XFL record 58-yard field goal.

Jerry Tillery, defensive line

Another player Vikings fans may not know much about is recently signed defensive lineman Jerry Tillery. He failed to impress with the Chargers after they used a first-round pick on him in 2019 and he also struggled with the Las Vegas Raiders last season.

Tillery will take over for Dean Lowry in Minnesota. It shouldn't be too hard for Tillery to at least match what Lowry did for the Vikings last season and could possibly perform better than him if he feels at home in Brian Flores' defense.

Ed Ingram, offensive line

Let's be honest, Ed Ingram had a rookie campaign that many fans would like to forget. Stepping on Kirk Cousins' foot twice and making other mental mistakes prevented him from living up to his potential. Ingram had a much better second season in Minnesota, drawing less ire from fans in the process.

With another season under his belt and more time to work on his technique, there's a solid chance that Ed Ingram could make another significant jump as a blocker, proving that he's more than worthy of a spot on the offensive line.