Vikings Free Company Praised by PFF Analyst

Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive finish Jonathan Greenard (52) walks off the sector earlier than the sport towards the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports activities

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has been exhausting at work throughout this Vikings free company interval, including expertise to the roster.

Not solely has the overall supervisor gone about adding depth to the workforce in an effort to replenish the backends of Minnesota’s roster, however he has added actually succesful starters to the combo as properly, guaranteeing that the Vikings can stay aggressive instantly. One in all PFF’s premier analysts, Brad Spielberger was impressed by the early parts of Vikings free company, significantly one transfer to herald a brand new beginning go rusher.

PFF Analyst Praises Vikings Free Company Transfer

Vikings Free Agency
Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive finish Jonathan Greenard (52) walks off the sector earlier than the sport towards the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports activities

Spielberger not too long ago wrote a bit detailing the best moves of free agency for all 32 NFL teams, and for the Vikings, he selected the signing of Jonathan Greenard. Right here is his reasoning for the selection:

Minnesota misplaced each Danielle Hunter and D.J. Wonnum on the sting, so getting youthful with the proficient Jonathan Greenard makes a variety of sense. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores will certainly love Greenard’s means towards the run, along with a still-developing arsenal of pass-rush strikes, along with his tremendous lengthy arms protecting him clear towards tackles as he turns the nook.

Defensive coordinator Brian Flores has liked having various kinds of versatility in his defensive scheme, and Greenard matches proper into that mould. Not solely did he put collectively 12.5 sacks final season in 15 video games, however he has been a really succesful three-down participant to contribute in run protection.

The location of Greenard reverse of Andrew Van Ginkel, who reunites with Flores in Minnesota, provides the Vikings quite a few completely different appears that they’ll make the most of on the place.

NFL: Houston Texans at New York Jets
Dec 10, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets working again Dalvin Cook dinner (33) is tackled by Houston Texans defensive finish Jonathan Greenard (52) through the first half at MetLife Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports activities

Based on NFL Next Gen Stats, Greenard generated a career-high 15.6% stress price throughout 2023, and he ranked fifth in the complete NFL from Weeks 8-16 in that class with a whopping 19.3%.

At 6’3″ and 263 kilos, Greenard had terrific dimension and athleticism to assist in the go rush, and he might have his finest soccer in entrance of him. He with solely flip 27 years previous in June, and there ought to be loads of tread on the tires contemplating he has performed lower than 300 defensive snaps in two of his first 4 seasons. This previous 12 months was by far his career-high in that division with 682.

Sadly, Spielberger additionally needed to toss in his least favourite transfer of Minnesota’s free company interval. He deemed that signing QB Sam Darnold was the worst transfer for the Vikings over the previous couple weeks, who signed with Minnesota on a one-year deal value $10 million (together with $8.75 million assured) within the aftermath of Kirk Cousins leaving for Atlanta. Right here was his reasoning for labeling Darnold because the worst signing:

Darnold reunites with former teammate Josh McCown, who’s now the quarterbacks coach for the Minnesota Vikings underneath Kevin O’Connell. Minnesota clearly wants a bridge quarterback, or this might be the 2024 model of the Baker Mayfield expertise in Tampa Bay, however with so many choices obtainable, they simply needed to give Darnold a higher than 100% increase over 2023. It seems like there’s baked-in compensation so Minnesota can say, “Hey, we don’t want to commerce up. We have now a starter we consider in!

That stated, there have been reputable flashes on the finish of the 2022 season in Carolina for Darnold, and we all know groups nonetheless consider within the former No. 3 total decide. On the finish of the day, with Kirk Cousins off to Atlanta, Minnesota needed to make a reasonably sizable transfer with their first-round draft decide sitting at No. 11 total, and participant brokers have been properly conscious of that actuality. We now wait to see in the event that they add a rookie signal-caller at No. 11 or after a trade-up.

Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Sam Darnold (14) celebrates after a play through the second quarter towards the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium. Obligatory Credit score: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports activities

It definitely could be lower than best for the Vikings to be pressured to experience with Darnold as their QB1 all through this season, however on the finish of the day, he may be considered as an honest insurance coverage plan. Minnesota is predicted to attempt to draft a quarterback this spring. In the event that they do this, the Vikings don’t have to rush their rookie into the beginning lineup earlier than he’s prepared, permitting him to develop and develop extra comfy within the offense.

Editor’s Notice: Statistics for this text have been discovered through Pro Football Reference.

Purple Headlines of the Week: An Underrated Signing, Vikings Add More Defensive Help, A Plan B in the Draft?

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The Faculty of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing concerning the NFL, Josh enjoys working, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Try his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

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