It’s pretty much impossible to tell how much impact any player a team is going to have at this point in the offseason, particularly if that player is heading into his first NFL season. However, one of the Minnesota Vikings’ rookies has been tabbed as an offseason standout with OTAs and mini-camps in the books.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN tabbed linebacker Brian Asamoah as the team’s surprise offseason standout in what we can only really call a pleasant surprise. Here’s what Seifert had to say about Asamoah:
Asamoah’s sideline-to-sideline speed was plainly evident in non-contact practices, as was his confidence. He joked with an assistant coach that he wanted $5 every time he ran past someone. “I’m a rich man now,” he said, “because I keep passing them.”
It appears that Asamoah will certainly get his opportunities to be a part of the Vikings’ defense. If the Vikings do plan to employ more 3-4 looks under new defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, Asamoah will get his chances, whether it’s backing up Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks in the middle or getting chances at the outside spots.
It also seems that Asamoah is going to be expected to fill in at least some of the void left by Anthony Barr. Barr is a free agent and has still not signed with anyone this offseason, and at this point it would seem that a reunion between Barr and the Vikings is unlikely. The word with Barr going back to last season is that his knee issues aren’t getting any better, and it appears that the team may have officially moved on. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but if it hasn’t happened at this point it would be pretty surprising if a reunion happened at any point going forward.
The Vikings are expecting quite a bit out of a few members of their 2022 draft class right out of the gate. If Asamoah can step up and be a big part of the Vikings’ defense early, it would be a nice bonus.
(Hat tip to Lindsey Young from the Vikings’ team website for seeing the ESPN story first.)