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Grading the Minnesota Vikings’ Key Free Agent Additions So Far

From Jonathan Greenard to Sam Darnold, here are the grades for all of Minnesota’s big moves.

The Vikings acquired five notable players during the first two days of free agency, at least four of whom can be expected to start for them when the 2024 season begins six months from now. They agreed to multi-year deals with three versatile, playmaking defenders on Monday, then signed a bridge quarterback and an established running back to one-year deals on Tuesday to bolster their offense.

There’s likely more to come, but for now, let’s grade each of the Vikings’ five additions from a busy two-day period.

OLB Jonathan Greenard: B+

The Vikings kicked off free agency by quickly agreeing to terms with Greenard, who had a breakout 12.5-sack season with the Texans last year. Minnesota and Houston essentially wound up swapping pass rushers, as Danielle Hunter went back to his hometown on a two-year, $49 million deal the next day. The moves make sense for both teams; Houston is going for it this year with a star QB on a rookie contract, while the Vikings landed a younger replacement who they hope will be a big part of their ascension over the next few seasons.

Greenard is an agile, long-armed pass rusher. He emerged with eight sacks in 2021, dealt with an injury in 2022, and then had a career year last season. He’s explosive off the edge and is still developing his full array of moves to beat tackles. The only question marks with Greenard are his injury history — he missed 16 combined games over the past three seasons — and his inconsistency as a tackler against the run. The Vikings are betting that his best football is still ahead of him.

OLB Andrew Van Ginkel: A

If Greenard was the Hunter replacement, Van Ginkel is the D.J. Wonnum replacement — and he’s probably a much better fit for Brian Flores’ defense. Flores would know, as he coached AVG for the first three years of his career in Miami. The Iowa native and former Wisconsin standout is durable, versatile, and was highly productive during his five seasons with the Dolphins. He’s just a heck of an all-around football player. He can rush the passer, he can defend the run, he can drop into coverage, and he can play special teams. Van Ginkel’s 91.1 PFF grade last season ranked eighth among all edge defenders.

This feels like a no-brainer move for the Vikings due to Van Ginkel’s playmaking ability and his experience in Flores’ scheme. I love this pickup for Minnesota.

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