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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 12 December 2023

“A pessimist is a person who has had to listen to too many optimists.” – Don Marquis

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Florida v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The Vikings have found themselves in an interesting situation in regards to the QB play since Cousins went down. They now have to decide between Dobbs, Mullens, and Hall. It would seem that Mullens should get the nod since he was originally the backup to Cousins. There will be serious howling if Dobbs is given another start. I would love it though because I like to see things burn.

Wil Levis looked pretty good to me last night. I really really wanted to see the Vikings take him instead of Addison. How smart would that look now? But what if they would have drafted Danny Devito instead? Hmmm ...

Levis looks good but could get hurt with how physical he likes to play.

Since yore last open thread ...

2023 NFL Week 15: Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals

NFC Playoff Seedings and where the Vikings fit in

Minnesota Vikings updated Playoff Picture

NFL Opening Odds: Vikings open as road underdog against Bengals

Other Vikings News ...

Minnesota Vikings 5-round mock draft: LSU’s Jayden Daniels takes over from Kirk Cousins

The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner‘s season has been nothing short of sensational. He has earned a 91.9 passing grade with 29 big-time throws and 35 completions of 20 yards or more. That’s impressive by anyone’s standards, but the LSU signal-caller also boasts 1,200 rushing yards and a 91.8 rushing grade.
The versatile 6-foot-3, 290-pounder has not posted a PFF grade below 72.0 in his three years as a starter. As his weight suggests, he’s a more heavy-handed defensive end/defensive tackle, but he also possesses a good first step.

Analyzing Vikings’ playoff chances entering Week 15

Vikings’ Kevin O’Connell Puts Coach’s Future on Notice After Arrest

“I was incredibly disappointed, there’s no question, but we want to allow kind of the facts and do our due diligence from that standpoint. The league is clearly involved as well. It’s very important that, as coaches, we understand where we’re setting the bar for our organization and for our players, and Wes knows he fell short of that,” O’Connell added.
“Wes is one of the closest coaches I’ve ever been around. I care about him deeply, and we’re as an organization going to support him and know ultimately, that we know that Wes knows he made a mistake and we’re going to handle that accordingly as we get more information and ultimately work through it. But I think it’s a lesson for all of us. No matter whatever you think, this amount or that amount, you have to have a plan and make sure, because it was something we were all very disappointed in.”

There’s a “good chance” Justin Jefferson will play Saturday, Vikings’ coach says

“Justin Jefferson sustained a chest, internal chest injury there,” head coach Kevin O’Connell said after the game. “We wanted to rule out any potential complications from that, so he did go to a local hospital and get evaluated and he has since returned and he will travel home with us. So feel pretty encouraged about the early news on Justin. Now we’ll have to see on a short week how he’s able to turn over from this.”

NFL News

NFL Week 15 Power Rankings: Cowboys legitimate Super Bowl contenders; Browns make huge leap with Joe Flacco

VIKINGS The offense is so limited right now, but the defense got a shutout to beat the Raiders on Sunday. They can’t count on that every week.

NFL Power Rankings: Bryce Young isn’t giving Panthers any reason for optimism going forward

14. Minnesota Vikings (7-6, LW: 19)
It’s shocking how fast the Joshua Dobbs story crashed to earth. Nick Mullens got the nod in the fourth quarter when Dobbs was benched in a 0-0 game and Mullens at least did enough to get a 3-0 win. That game was hideous but a huge win for Minnesota’s playoff hopes. Mullens probably becomes the Vikings’ fourth starting quarterback in this weird season for them.

NFL Team Needs: Prioritizing Every Roster’s Biggest Weaknesses Entering Week 15

Well, it certainly wasn’t the prettiest win with a 3-0 defeat in Las Vegas, but the Minnesota Vikings found a way to get the job done. After benching Josh Dobbs in the fourth quarter for Nick Mullens, Minnesota has issues at quarterback, but they’re still heading into the final month of the campaign with a wild-card spot in hand.
Biggest Weaknesses:
Interior Pass Rush
Running Back
Another Edge-Rusher
Add Now: OL La’el Collins
Brian O’Neill and Dalton Risner left Sunday’s game with injuries, so the Vikings could be down two starters for this crucial stretch of the season. It’d be a smart move to bring in a veteran offensive lineman who has experience playing guard and tackle just in case either of those two have to miss time.
2024 Free Agency: DL Denico Autry, Tennessee Titans
Generating interior pressure has been a struggle for Minnesota this season, as all of their defensive tackles are good run defenders but subpar pass-rushers. Meanwhile, Autry has carved out a 10-year NFL career as a defensive lineman who can put pressure on the quarterback from just about any alignment.
He also doesn’t appear to be slowing down much with nine sacks through the first 12 games of this season. That ties a career high and makes it four years in a row that he’s logged at least 7.5 sacks.
The 33-year-old would also probably be willing to take a cheaper deal to play for a playoff contender, and he’d be a good fit as a 4i-technique in the Vikings’ scheme.
2024 NFL Draft: OL Jordan Morgan, Arizona
After sending Ezra Cleveland to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the trade deadline, it feels inevitable that Minnesota will draft an interior offensive lineman. While Morgan played offensive tackle in college, he’d fit well as a guard in a zone-based rushing offense, according to B/R NFL draft scout Brandon Thorn, which is what the Vikings use under head coach Kevin O’Connell.
“Morgan times the snap well in the run game with good initial quickness out of his stance to get into his fits and hit his landmarks on time on zone cut-offs, scoops and combo blocks, with the burst to be a plus move-blocker on screens, climbs and pulls,” Thorn wrote in the Wildcat’s B/R scouting report. “He has very good play strength with heavy hands to jolt defenders on contact, cave them in and create lateral displacement on angle-drive blocks (kick-outs, down blocks).
“... Overall, Morgan has the frame, build, play strength and physicality to make a smooth transition inside to guard, with the initial quickness and burst to be a high-quality run-blocker. His questionable range and middling redirect skills will be difficult to overcome on an island against NFL edge-rushers, but he could make it work inside a run-first, play-action-based scheme that limits those exposures.”

Yore Mock

Trade Partner: Cleveland Browns
Sent: Pick 53
Received: Pick 56, Pick 156
Trade Partner: Detroit Lions
Sent: Pick 118, 2025 3rd
Received: Pick 87

22. Jayden Daniels QB LSU 6’4” 210

56. Bralen Trice EDGE Washington 6’4” 273

87. Jackson Powers-Johnson OC Oregon 6’3” 320

123. Braden Fiske DT Florida State 6’5” 297

152. Mike Sainristil CB Michigan 5’10” 182

153. Zak Zinter OG Michigan 6’6” 322

156. Marist Liufau LB Notre Dame 6’2” 239

161. Brenden Rice WR USC 6’3” 210

206. Kitan Oladapo S Oregon State 6’1” 217

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