New Vikings defenders already viewed among the NFL’s best in 2024

Jonathan Greenard
Jonathan Greenard / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are a team in transition and sometimes that means saying goodbye to fan-favorite players even if they have excellent production. The team had to move on from star edge rusher Danielle Hunter and high-potential backup D.J. Wonnum which left a huge gap on defense.

The Vikings signed former Texans defender Jonathan Greenard and former Dolphins edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel to help take some of the pressure off the secondary and create havoc for opposing quarterbacks.

Both freshly inked edge rushers are under 30 years old and are coming off seasons where they earned career-high numbers in sacks. However, it isn't easy to know if they can be as productive with the Minnesota Vikings under defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

New Vikings defenders already viewed among the NFL’s best in 2024

Recently, Pro Football Focus released a list of their top 32 edge rushers ahead of the 2024 NFL season and it was a little surprising to see both new faces for the Minnesota Vikings included on the list.

Van Ginkel landed at No. 24 on PFF's list. They mentioned that he had a career year in Miami last season and earned a grade of 91.2 overall and 90.6 pass-rush grade in 17 games played with 11 starts.

Meanwhile, Greenard landed at No. 30 and was also praised for his career-best performance in 2023. He earned an overall PFF grade of 78.2 with a pass-rush grade of 73.2. In 15 games, the former Texans edge rusher had 12.5 sacks.

Rookies were not included in this list since it was based on last year's production. If rookies were included, it would have been interesting to see how first-round pick Dallas Turner stacks up against his new teammates and the other edge rushers around the league.

Only four edge rushers from NFC North teams other than the Vikings made the list. Lions defenders Aiden Hutchinson and Marcus Davenport were included along with Rashan Gary of the Packers and Montez Sweat of the Bears.

The inclusion of six edge rushers from the division proves how dangerous the NFC North could be in 2024. With so much focus on offensive players lately, it is nice to see productive defenders getting some love from Pro Football Focus.

Keep your eyes on Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel this season. These two young pass rushers could help the Minnesota Vikings exceed expectations and take another step toward being a contender in the league.