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Minnesota Vikings Defensive Line:


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12 hours ago, Ozzy said:

True, and I probably should not have him listed as #1 DE opposite Hunter.  Still fact is one of those three guys will be awesome next year, there is almost zero chance none of them can get to the QB and be productive, they are all three way too talented but Weatherly is experienced and until someone takes the spot will see.  Still Wonnum, Jones and Robinson yeah someone will standout and it should not take long.  And if they all do poorly, which I doubt, I would not mind seeing James Lynch takes some snaps there at DE and see what he looks like.  That is 10 DL though, will be hard to keep them all and most likely Lynch, Hercules, Watts, Brailford will all be cut but will see.   Almost have to keep nine though so they donot cut Robinson or Twyman.  

 

Also his last two years in Minnesota, Weatherly had 60 tackles, 11 TFL, 17 QB hits, 6 sacks and 2 FF and only started 7 out of 32 games.  So it is not like he is awful or something, but sure did not fit or was not very good on Carolina last year in that different defensive system.

I think The Vikings will play Richardson at RE on a fair amount of 2nd downs, when both Pierce and Tomlinson are in, and maybe on some of the opposition's 4th down and short, go-for-it plays.  So, they will have 4 excellent players on The DL for a number of plays.  And a rotation of Wonnum, Weatherly, Jones, and Robinson can fill out the rest. I;m sure that Richardson will get in at least 80% of starter-level snaps.

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1 hour ago, Robb_K said:

I think The Vikings will play Richardson at RE on a fair amount of 2nd downs, when both Pierce and Tomlinson are in, and maybe on some of the opposition's 4th down and short, go-for-it plays.  So, they will have 4 excellent players on The DL for a number of plays.  And a rotation of Wonnum, Weatherly, Jones, and Robinson can fill out the rest. I;m sure that Richardson will get in at least 80% of starter-level snaps.

Not sure I agree with that one.  To me it is more likely Richardson starts opposite Tomlinson if Pierce is not quite as good as they thought and Richardson provides much needed interior pass rush and Tomlinson is a hell of a run stopper already with sneaky pass rush ability.  Playing Richardson at RDE I am not a huge fan of, and since when did the Vikings use a jumbo type DE in this defense?  I cannot recall that happening and like I said pretty sure Weatherly, Wonnum, Jones or Robinson will win a starting spot and if not they rotate them all and get fresh rushers all throughout the game.  But sure one will emerge.

Sure maybe they play Richardson out there but I doubt it, just does not really match the scheme it seems but will see.  And I would be more confident having Richardson as the starting DT instead of Pierce than having Richardson as the starting RDE instead of Weatherly, Wonnum, Jones or Robinson...

 

There is a chance Pierce is simply not that good and honestly Tomlinson has never played in a 4/3 defense in the NFL so who knows how he does, but Tomlinson is more a NT and why have two NTs in Pierce and Tomlinson when Richardson/Tomlinson could be a solid DT combo and Pierce more a rotation guy but will see.  

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31 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

Not sure I agree with that one.  To me it is more likely Richardson starts opposite Tomlinson if Pierce is not quite as good as they thought and Richardson provides much needed interior pass rush and Tomlinson is a hell of a run stopper already with sneaky pass rush ability.  Playing Richardson at RDE I am not a huge fan of, and since when did the Vikings use a jumbo type DE in this defense?  I cannot recall that happening and like I said pretty sure Weatherly, Wonnum, Jones or Robinson will win a starting spot and if not they rotate them all and get fresh rushers all throughout the game.  But sure one will emerge.

Sure maybe they play Richardson out there but I doubt it, just does not really match the scheme it seems but will see.  And I would be more confident having Richardson as the starting DT instead of Pierce than having Richardson as the starting RDE instead of Weatherly, Wonnum, Jones or Robinson...

 

There is a chance Pierce is simply not that good and honestly Tomlinson has never played in a 4/3 defense in the NFL so who knows how he does, but Tomlinson is more a NT and why have two NTs in Pierce and Tomlinson when Richardson/Tomlinson could be a solid DT combo and Pierce more a rotation guy but will see.  

I never wrote that Richardson would START at DE.  i wrote that he would get maybe 80% of what a starting DL would get ALTOGETHER, which would come from getting ALL the 3rd down snaps subbing for mainly for Pierce and sometimes for Tomlinson at DT, and also getting SOME 2nd down snaps at DE, and maybe most or all of the 4th Down snaps, when the opposing team goes for the 1st on short distance plays.  80% of as much as a 30 year old starter isn't 80% of all plays at DE.  If an average 30-yearold starter gets 75% of ALL DE snaps, then, .8 X.75= .6 (60% of ALL snaps), with a lot more of that at DT than at DE.  The DE snaps would be just to get some beef at RE on guessed running plays, with a big player, who can also rush pretty well, and to have Richardson play more than just a backup role, while the young, faster athletes are learning to play the pro-level DE position.  I imagine Wonnum, and, at least, one of Jones and Robinson will play well, and slowly but continually increase their snap count after the first 4-6 games, and Richardson will play less RE, but may back up both DTs more, due to them needing more rest as the season goes on.  Maybe Richardson will join Tomlinson and Pierce in a 3 DT rotation after the young DE takes over RE.  I see it as a fluid situation, adapting to how the so-called "starters", and the young kids are playing.

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28 minutes ago, Cearbhall said:

I haven't seen anything to lead me to believe Richardson will used regularly at DE. Could make sense in run stop packages.

I think he played some in Cleveland but not sure how many snaps he got there.

Maybe we move on from Pierce?

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2 hours ago, Cearbhall said:

I haven't seen anything to lead me to believe Richardson will used regularly at DE. Could make sense in run stop packages.

I agree, and sure guys move around but here are the starting DE combos over the past 10 years or so for the Vikings

Odenigbo/Ngakoue
Hunter/Griffen
Robison/Griffen
Robison/Allen
Edwards/Allen

 

In no case did they play a 295-300 pound dude at DE.  But sure things can change but again I think it is far more likely Pierce could be out as a starter and put as the backup if Richardson can produce as a pass rusher.  There is little reason to believe that Weatherly, Jones, Wonnum or Robinson will not handle the DE job opposite Hunter.  

 

What Darrion Scott in around 2005-06 was the last 300 pound DE for the Vikings, and I do not recall him being all that great.  Played opposite Udeze who was a massive disappointment and James who was clearly terrible with the injury thing.  He was greatly helped having Pat Williams and Kevin Williams in the middle and still they were not all that productive.  Then Kevin Williams played a little LDE as a rookie because they had Hovan and Robbins on the inside already, he did well there and was opposite Mixon.  

Basically though I do not think that opposite DE position is so bad they have to play Richardson there, as if they have all this great depth and or pass rushing from the DT spot?

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3 hours ago, SteelKing728 said:

I think he played some in Cleveland but not sure how many snaps he got there.

Maybe we move on from Pierce?

I don't think so. I watched Pierce's statement to the media at minicamp and I had the impression that he was in a good place with the team. He said Patterson was talking to him all throughout the offseason and let him know how they planned to pair him with Tomlinson. He appears to be in shape and ready to go. It's good to have 3 capable DTs that you can rotate in and out. 

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1 hour ago, babababa said:

I don't think so. I watched Pierce's statement to the media at minicamp and I had the impression that he was in a good place with the team. He said Patterson was talking to him all throughout the offseason and let him know how they planned to pair him with Tomlinson. He appears to be in shape and ready to go. It's good to have 3 capable DTs that you can rotate in and out. 

This is what I was thinking.  Pull Pierce and slide Tomlinson over to 3rd down nose and put in Richardson.  Hopefully rotate in Twyman on longer 3rd downs.  They have options beyond their wildest dreams compared to last year's DL.

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7 hours ago, NoDakViking said:

This is what I was thinking.  Pull Pierce and slide Tomlinson over to 3rd down nose and put in Richardson.  Hopefully rotate in Twyman on longer 3rd downs.  They have options beyond their wildest dreams compared to last year's DL.

Yeah they have a ton of options now.  And honestly I forgot the Vikings also have Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata'afa and Kenny Willekes!

 

Seriously without cuts this is what they have right now.  16 dudes legitimately or so.  Freaking nuts and honestly sucks for the career of Hercules, Willekes etc because they have to know after the Vikings drafted Jones and Robinson, oh **** I am done now with this team, same with Holmes.

 

DE Danielle Hunter/ Patrick Jones II / Kenny Willekes / Jordan Brailford
DT Michael Pierce / Sheldon Richardson / Armon Watts / Jordon Scott
DT Dalvin Tomlinson/ Jaylen Twyman / James Lynch
DE Stephen Weatherly/ DJ Wonnum /  Janarius Robinson / Hercules Mata'afa / Jalyn Holmes

 

Washington has the best DL in the NFL in terms of a standard 4/3, especially the starting four.  But honestly the depth sure I did not include everyone but no way they are as deep as the Vikings but honestly does not matter because they will only keep what 8 of them max 10.


DE Chase Young / Shaka Toney
DT Jonathan Allen / Matt Ioannidis
DT Daron Payne / Tim Settle
DE Montez Sweat

 

Still freaking nuts the depth and quality there for the Vikings, would be damn hard to find any team in the NFL with that much young talent on the DL.  Sure not as many proven stars at DE opposite Hunter but so many options of guys who could maybe be something at one point.  Maybe physically Kenny Willekes is done for thus drafting Robinson and Jones, but still nuts the depth and potential talent they have got over one year.

 

 

And just look at the guys in bold who were not here last year or did not play last year, hell could include Hunter in that mix as well technically.  So yeah some of these guys will standout and just simply be the dudes at those positions.

DE Danielle Hunter/ Patrick Jones II / Kenny Willekes / Jordan Brailford
DT Michael Pierce / Sheldon Richardson / Armon Watts / Jordon Scott
DT Dalvin Tomlinson / Jaylen Twyman / James Lynch
DE Stephen Weatherly / DJ Wonnum /  Janarius Robinson / Hercules Mata'afa / Jalyn Holmes

 

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I think you find a way to keep 10-11. No sense of letting talent go just because you have numbers. Perhaps they will be able to trade some excess after preseason. I think Holmes and Hercules have been here long enough to show they don’t have the upside to be anything more than an average rotational piece at best. I’d keep guys like Robinson or Willekes over them. 

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19 hours ago, Ozzy said:

Yeah they have a ton of options now.  And honestly I forgot the Vikings also have Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata'afa and Kenny Willekes!

 

Seriously without cuts this is what they have right now.  16 dudes legitimately or so.  Freaking nuts and honestly sucks for the career of Hercules, Willekes etc because they have to know after the Vikings drafted Jones and Robinson, oh **** I am done now with this team, same with Holmes.

 

DE Danielle Hunter/ Patrick Jones II / Kenny Willekes / Jordan Brailford
DT Michael Pierce / Sheldon Richardson / Armon Watts / Jordon Scott
DT Dalvin Tomlinson/ Jaylen Twyman / James Lynch
DE Stephen Weatherly/ DJ Wonnum /  Janarius Robinson / Hercules Mata'afa / Jalyn Holmes

 

Washington has the best DL in the NFL in terms of a standard 4/3, especially the starting four.  But honestly the depth sure I did not include everyone but no way they are as deep as the Vikings but honestly does not matter because they will only keep what 8 of them max 10.


DE Chase Young / Shaka Toney
DT Jonathan Allen / Matt Ioannidis
DT Daron Payne / Tim Settle
DE Montez Sweat

 

Still freaking nuts the depth and quality there for the Vikings, would be damn hard to find any team in the NFL with that much young talent on the DL.  Sure not as many proven stars at DE opposite Hunter but so many options of guys who could maybe be something at one point.  Maybe physically Kenny Willekes is done for thus drafting Robinson and Jones, but still nuts the depth and potential talent they have got over one year.

 

 

And just look at the guys in bold who were not here last year or did not play last year, hell could include Hunter in that mix as well technically.  So yeah some of these guys will standout and just simply be the dudes at those positions.

DE Danielle Hunter/ Patrick Jones II / Kenny Willekes / Jordan Brailford
DT Michael Pierce / Sheldon Richardson / Armon Watts / Jordon Scott
DT Dalvin Tomlinson / Jaylen Twyman / James Lynch
DE Stephen Weatherly / DJ Wonnum /  Janarius Robinson / Hercules Mata'afa / Jalyn Holmes

 

I think out of these 16, I think starters are Hunter-Tomlinson-Pierce-Weatherly.  Top backups are Richardson, Watts, and Wonnum.  Jones, Robinson, amd Twyman make the final 53 as well.  So that's  10.

I think Scott and one of Willekes or Brailford go to PS while Mataafa and Holmes probably battle for the #11 DL spot on the 53, with Hercules likely getting just based on positional versatility. 

I would not trust being able to sneak any of this year's draft picks onto the PS.  Twyman will likely get back to his normal weight and be more explosive and I think both Jones and Robinson have much higher ceilings than Willekes or Brailford.

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35 minutes ago, NoDakViking said:

I think out of these 16, I think starters are Hunter-Tomlinson-Pierce-Weatherly.  Top backups are Richardson, Watts, and Wonnum.  Jones, Robinson, amd Twyman make the final 53 as well.  So that's  10.

I think Scott and one of Willekes or Brailford go to PS while Mataafa and Holmes probably battle for the #11 DL spot on the 53, with Hercules likely getting just based on positional versatility. 

I would not trust being able to sneak any of this year's draft picks onto the PS.  Twyman will likely get back to his normal weight and be more explosive and I think both Jones and Robinson have much higher ceilings than Willekes or Brailford.

I agree, no way Jones, Robinson or Twyman would make it to the practice squad if they cut them.  Mata'afa could and so could Willekes and Brailford potentially.  Still that means James Lynch is cut and with his ability to play 3/4 DE spot which is his more natural position not sure he makes it to the PS but maybe he could.  Still though Jalyn Holmes started 9 games for Minnesota last year and now he will be absolutely cut most likely, so yeah quite an improvement on the DL.  I also think Weatherly will start if he comes in shape, but by the end of the year I would hope Wonnum or Jones can take his place.  

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10 minutes ago, Ozzy said:

I agree, no way Jones, Robinson or Twyman would make it to the practice squad if they cut them.  Mata'afa could and so could Willekes and Brailford potentially.  Still that means James Lynch is cut and with his ability to play 3/4 DE spot which is his more natural position not sure he makes it to the PS but maybe he could.  Still though Jalyn Holmes started 9 games for Minnesota last year and now he will be absolutely cut most likely, so yeah quite an improvement on the DL.  I also think Weatherly will start if he comes in shape, but by the end of the year I would hope Wonnum or Jones can take his place.  

Agreed.  Also Weatherly has some experience standing up on the interior on passing downs.  Hopefully they don't need that this year but it's a feather in his cap and it wouldn't hurt to mix it up once in a while.

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On 6/18/2021 at 9:36 PM, Ozzy said:

There is a chance Pierce is simply not that good and honestly Tomlinson has never played in a 4/3 defense in the NFL so who knows how he does, but Tomlinson is more a NT and why have two NTs in Pierce and Tomlinson when Richardson/Tomlinson could be a solid DT combo and Pierce more a rotation guy but will see.  

Steve Spagnuolo ran a 4-3 with the Giants in 2017, so I'm not sure where you got that he has never played in a 4-3.  

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The Vikings have foreshadowed some of that this spring by mixing in more 3-4 fronts in practices, which Zimmer has done in the past. What a team does in the offseason doesn’t guarantee wholesale changes in the fall, but the addition of several players could trigger more changes than normal.

https://www.espn.com/blog/minnesota-vikings/post/_/id/31203/how-the-vikings-reshaped-their-defense-after-a-miserable-2020

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