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The Vikings DL Pass-Rush was Horrible in 2020


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The season started out bad with only Ngakoue doing anything.

Mid-way through Odenigbo and Wonnum woke up. It looked OK, and then this happened. 

The last 4 games: 

Bucs: 26 pts -- 2 Qb hits (Watts, Brailford) -- 0 Sacks

Bears: 33 pts -- 0 Qb hits from the DL -- 0 Sacks from DL

Saints: 52 pts -- 1 Qb hit -- 1 Sack from Shamar Stephen

Lions: 35 pts -- 1 QB hit -- 1 Sack from Mata'afa

The end of the season was particularly atrocious. This team's glaring weakness is its inability to rush the QB. I'm not on the Wonnum Hype train. His play tailed off from his mid-season promise. Odenigbo proved he is incapable of providing edge pressure. Our entire DT crew outside of Mata-afa in passing situations was extremely underwhelming.

I can't stress enough how much this team needs insurance in case Hunter is somehow injured and/or contract issues down the road. He won't turn this into an elite unit all by himself either. He needs significant help. I'm looking to the 1st round for the best pass-rusher available. 

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One could make the same type thread about the pass protection, only difference is that is historically cronic and goes back like 5 years or so, the pass rush issues do not go back that far.  So the OL and DL will be address 1st round no question about it.  

I was surprised they passed on Gross-Matos and AJ Epenesa last season and that was with Danielle Hunter not being hurt.   Gladney played well but I would have been fine with either one of those two after the Jefferson pick.  Still I have more faith in the potential of some of the younger DL on the team who are not starters than I have faith young OL on the team who are not starters.

 

I still say outside of Rousseau and Barmore not sure I have faith in many other DL prospects to be taken that high at 14.  Is Kwity Paye a better prospect than Gross-Matos or AJ Epenesa coming out of college?  I do not think so unless Paye runs some 4.5 40 or something.  Only real knock on AJ and Yetur was both have poor 40 times, yet honestly both have pretty solid rookie seasons regardless of a slow 40, AJ for sure has speed on the field and that is pretty obvious.  

 

AJ Epenesa: 26.5 sacks, 36 TFLs, 9 FF, 101 tackles, 37 games played 3 seasons.


Yetur Gross-Matos: 18.5 sacks, 36.5 TFLs, 2 FF, 111 tackles, 34 games played in 3 seasons.


Kwity Paye 11.5 sacks, 23.5 TFLs, 1 FF, 97 tackles, 28 games played in 4 seasons.

 

Paye played less games but has had more injury issues than those other two did, also had to go up against more competition and did not see the field as much but still has yet to be really dominant for an entire season outside of his junior year.  He is being ranked that high because it is a weak DE class which is shown by Rousseau who still has held down the top DE spot arguably despite sitting out the entire season because no one else has really stood out there.  

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I agree. They really need a starting caliber DE, a new 3T and for Hunter to return. I like Wonnum and Odinigbo as reserves and developmental options. If they can get a 1-2 year placeholder at RE to pair with Hunter I’d feel much better. 

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I would focus on the D-line as well. Hunter and Pierce will both be back. I’m all for going after Trey Hendrickson in FA for our other DE and drafting Barmore in the 1st round as well. Getting to the QB will only help our young CB’s out..

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On 2/26/2021 at 3:58 PM, babababa said:

The season started out bad with only Ngakoue doing anything.

Mid-way through Odenigbo and Wonnum woke up. It looked OK, and then this happened. 

The last 4 games: 

Bucs: 26 pts -- 2 Qb hits (Watts, Brailford) -- 0 Sacks

Bears: 33 pts -- 0 Qb hits from the DL -- 0 Sacks from DL

Saints: 52 pts -- 1 Qb hit -- 1 Sack from Shamar Stephen

Lions: 35 pts -- 1 QB hit -- 1 Sack from Mata'afa

The end of the season was particularly atrocious. This team's glaring weakness is its inability to rush the QB. I'm not on the Wonnum Hype train. His play tailed off from his mid-season promise. Odenigbo proved he is incapable of providing edge pressure. Our entire DT crew outside of Mata-afa in passing situations was extremely underwhelming.

I can't stress enough how much this team needs insurance in case Hunter is somehow injured and/or contract issues down the road. He won't turn this into an elite unit all by himself either. He needs significant help. I'm looking to the 1st round for the best pass-rusher available. 

It's not a pure coincidence that what you referenced occurred after Eric Kendricks went out of the lineup.  And you may rightfully not be on the Wonnum hype train, but he was a rookie and played a lot more than they wanted or expected him to, so it should come as absolutely no surprise that he tailed off.  That doesn't mean anything.  He provided a lot more than I ever expected, so I am still very optimistic about him.

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I wouldn't give up on Wonnum or Mata'afa. Maybe they only end up as situational pass rushers and not a starter but I trust coach Patterson to get everything he can out of them.

Having Hunter and Pierce back should help but we need some new blood on the DL. 

I'm all for drafting one of the Pitt guys!😁

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I still haven't figured out why they got rid of Ngakoue.  They gave up a 2nd round pick for him and then only used the guy for, what was it, 5 games?  He was getting to the QB and I was really looking forward to seeing him play on the same line as Danielle Hunter.  Does anyone know why they got rid of him so soon, or at all?

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55 minutes ago, Uncle Buck said:

I still haven't figured out why they got rid of Ngakoue.  They gave up a 2nd round pick for him and then only used the guy for, what was it, 5 games?  He was getting to the QB and I was really looking forward to seeing him play on the same line as Danielle Hunter.  Does anyone know why they got rid of him so soon, or at all?

None of us know. Rick Spielman probably won't tell anyone anytime soon because it would involve him admitting to making a huge blunder. There is speculation that he wasn't a fit, but on the surface that speculation isn't super believable. Having someone that can rush the passer is hugely important, and he was doing a fine job of that and also causing QB fumbles. That is a skillset that there will always be a fit for on an NFL team.

I too was excited to see Hunter and Ngakoue on the same line. It's a shame that we'll not get to see that.

Edited by Cearbhall
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After giving up their 2nd round pick, I'm hoping that Kyle Pitts falls to #14.  According to the talking heads, he isn't going to fall that far, but stranger things have certainly happened in the past.  Tight end is a huge need for the Jaguars, so if that were to happen, maybe they could make a deal to trade up with the Vikings to give them #25 and #45 to come up and get him.  This would enable the Vikings to get a a quality defensive tackle AND a capable right guard.  It would be a great deal for both sides.

Edited by Uncle Buck
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19 minutes ago, Uncle Buck said:

After giving up their 2nd round pick, I'm hoping that Kyle Pitts falls to #14.  According to the talking heads, he isn't going to fall that far, but stranger things have certainly happened in the past.  Tight end is a huge need for the Jaguars, so if that were to happen, maybe they could make a deal to trade up with the Vikings to give them #25 and #45 to come up and get him.  This would enable the Vikings to get a a quality defensive tackle AND a capable right guard.  It would be a great deal for both sides.

Don't worry too much about the talking heads. None of them know at this point where he'll be drafted. If anyone tells you otherwise you can safely assume they are lost. The only thing anyone can say with reasonable certainty right now is that Lawrence will be the first pick.

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