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Vikings attempting competitive rebuild around homegrown talent

Will they be able to pull it off?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

When Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was hired as the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, he said that the team was going to undergo a “competitive rebuild.” While it sounds contradictory on the surface, Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell apparently felt that the Vikings had enough talent already on the roster to be competitive but there were some changes that still needed to be made.

While we don’t know the results of said competitive rebuild yet, the Vikings appear to be attempting to pull it off with mostly familiar faces.

According to Jason Fitzgerald from Over the Cap, the Vikings have the fifth-highest percentage of “homegrown players” on their roster, pertaining to players that they’ve drafted and developed themselves as opposed to acquiring in free agency or some other means.

While the Vikings have made a few big splashes in free agency over the past few years, they’ve largely attempted to develop their own talent, with Rick Spielman accumulating a lot of draft picks over his final few seasons in charge. The Vikings drafted 11 players in 2021 and a whopping 15 in 2020. They added 10 more in Adofo-Mensah’s first draft this past April, with nine of those ten making the roster (and the last one making the practice squad).

This number is all the more impressive, then, when you take a look at the recent purge of that 2021 draft class. Of the 11 players that heard the Vikings call their name in 2021, only four of them still remain on the roster: Christian Darrisaw, Patrick Jones II, Kene Nwangwu, and Camryn Bynum.

The Vikings do have plenty of stars that have been with them for quite a while, guys like Harrison Smith, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, and Dalvin Cook among them. But with the release of most of the 2021 draft class and nearly all of this year’s draftees making the final cut, Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell are making it clear. . .whether they rise or fall, they’re going to rise and fall with their guys. Hopefully it will work out for them in the end.

(Kudos to The Vikings Wire for seeing the OTC post before we did.)