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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 2 December 2023

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California v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Big games today!

Some great prospects to watch too.

Who will you be watching?

Since yore last open thread ...

Vikings Stock Market Report: Week 12

SB Nation Reacts Results: Jaren Hall is the choice at quarterback

Let’s try to predict the Vikings’ final win total

Other Vikings News ...

Vikings WRs Get Brutally Honest About Josh Dobbs’ Decline

Rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison, who saw a team-high 10 targets, was visibly upset at his locker after the game. According to the Star Tribune’s Andrew Krammer, Justin Jefferson and Dobbs consoled the 21-year-old, who was hard on himself for a second-quarter pass that tipped off his hands and led to an interception.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell said Addison needed to get his head and eyes around coming out of his break, while also alluding that Dobbs rushed the pass.
“The ball kind of got up on me fast as soon as I turned out of the break,” Addison told the Star Tribune on November 27. “But I just got to make that catch. I got to make that catch.”
Fourth-year wide receiver K.J. Osborn was asked if Dobbs’ inexperience in the Vikings offense had caught up to the team.
“I don’t know,” Osborn said. “Obviously, he’s in a tough position. He still just got here, still trying to get the [familiarity] of our offense.”
Down 9-3 in the fourth quarter, Dobbs delivered a deep pass to Addison, who was a bit turned around on the play, and caught the pass well out of bounds.
O’Connell called the throw a “foul ball” on Dobbs’ behalf, but Addison took responsibility for not giving himself a better chance to make a play.
“I feel like I got to stay in bounds, get my feet down,” Addison said. “I knew I was close, but I’m running vertical and the ball was kind of taking me back out [of bounds]. I just got to get my feet down there.”

NFC Standings Update: Vikings Move Up to 6th Seed With Seahawks’ Loss to Cowboys

Veteran QB Named Favorite to Replace Vikings’ Josh Dobbs

“If you’re biggest issue is we’re turning the ball over, we’re not executing our offense the way we want it to run. The best way to get some semblance of that back is to put in the guy that has the most experience in your offense… a guy that can play the offense in a somewhat similar fashion to Kirk Cousins. A guy that Kirk Cousins has praised as helping him learn the nuances of the offense,” Goessling said on a November 30 episode of the “Access Vikings” podcast.
“I just tend to think if they are as irritated by the inefficiency, and especially the turnovers, as they seem to be, Nick Mullens probably ends up being the safe reliable family car in the garage that (won’t ) wow anybody. You’re not taking that out on the Autobahn. But it’s getting decent gas mileage it’s got low insurance costs, all the safety features. I know people probably are not going to want to hear that. I just think that those things may be appealing to them, in This moment especially.”
“We’re going to make sure that whoever is playing quarterback is aware and understands the intent behind plays where either Justin is the primary [target], or based upon coverage, based upon the defensive look, how to quickly and efficiently get to the right place to go with the football,” O’Connell said on November 28, per ESPN. “In the end that’s what the NFL passing game is about: rhythm, timing, understanding that the defense can and will take some things away, but progressing in rhythm.”

Bye Week Arrives Not a Moment Too Soon for Banged-Up Vikings

The Vikings are relishing Brian Flores running their defense as long as they can

“I’m having a great time coaching this team. I am thankful for the opportunity to coach this group of guys,” Flores said. “It’s fun group to coach. They work hard. It’s important to them.”
“That was, selfishly for me, one of the big reasons why I was excited about bringing Flo in here,” O’Connell said. “From a leadership standpoint, from a player-development standpoint, from his understanding of football, situational football.”

Vikings legend Jared Allen says team shouldn’t bring back Kirk Cousins: “Nothing personal”

Adams asked Allen what he feels the team should do with 35-year-old Cousins, who is recovering from a season-ending injury and will be a free agent in the offseason.
“That’s a lot to unpack, do you have enough time?” Allen said, laughing. “You blow your Achilles out at this point in your career — I think it’s a young man’s game. It’s going that way.”
Allen admitted he didn’t know Cousins’ contract situation, but he had a clear answer on what the team should do when Adams informed him that Cousins’ contract will end after this season.
“Oh, you can’t pay him. That’s just a no-brainer. You can’t pay him. Sorry Kirk, nothing personal. Nothing personal at all,” he said. “What are you gonna have to pay him, $25-$30 million a year? Can’t do it. Sorry. The ride’s done.”
Allen joked that Cousins has “gold crutches right now, he’s doing just fine.”

Note: This is for the Korkstans. Try not to get to excited.

Watch: Injured Kirk Cousins crawls into ocean on beach vacation

Draft Stuff

Every NFL team’s biggest need entering Week 13: How AFC playoff contenders overcome injuries to star players

Vikings: Edge rusher
Projected key free agents: QB Kirk Cousins , EDGE Danielle Hunter, EDGE Marcus Davenport, LB Jordan Hicks , QB Joshua Dobbs
Danielle Hunter has been awesome this season, but Marcus Davenport is on injured reserve. Minnesota is applying pressure on 31.1% of opponent’s dropbacks this season, which is the fifth-lowest rate in the NFL, according to TruMedia. Brian Flores’ defensive design is a reason for that number, though. His team either sends everyone or drops everyone on every play; there is hardly an in-between.
Justin Jefferson should return to the field soon. He is a player whose role can not be filled by an individual, but a few players. Rookie Jordan Addison is now the preeminent figure in that offense and has stepped up. On the year, Minnesota is credited with 23 drops, which is the second most by any franchise this season, according to TruMedia.

NFL Team Needs Tracker: One upcoming free agent, one 2024 NFL Draft prospect for all 32 teams after Week 12

Projected win total (per PFF Power Rankings): 8.7 (15th)
Projected draft position (inverse of standings): 21st
Unit grade through Week 13: 59.8 (25th)
Minnesota still has a big decision to make on pending free agent Danielle Hunter and, beyond that, needs to add a ton of talent at edge defender to bolster this pass rush and enable the front four to get home without blitzing at a league-leading rate.
Prospect: Ohio State EDGE JT Tuimoloau
Tuimoloau hasn’t quite played up to the preseason hype in 2023, facing the highest of expectations at Ohio State while being compared to recent prospects like Nick Bosa and Chase Young, but a key matchup with Penn State tackle Olu Fashanu illustrated the ceiling his strength can provide. Tuimoloau registered seven quarterback pressures and a sack, including a highlight-reel play or two against one of the better pass protectors we’ve seen at the college level in a few years.
Free agent: New England Patriots EDGE Josh Uche
Uche has been remarkably efficient rushing the passer since a breakout 2022 season, but he is still logging around only 25 snaps a game as more of a rotational player. Uche has notched at least one quarterback pressure in every game this season on his way to a 17.7% pressure rate, picking up where he left off last season with 56 pressures on 285 pass-rush reps.
Uche may be too good for the Patriots to let go, but if they do, the Vikings could bring in a designated pass-rushing specialist without breaking the bank. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores is as good as anyone at utilizing different body types and skill sets along the defensive front.

Caleb Williams says it’s “a game-time decision” whether he’ll declare for 2024 draft

NFL Mock Draft 2024: Projecting where Bo Nix, J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr. will be picked as QBs rule Round 1

6 QBs go before the Vikings pick

22. Minnesota Vikings (6-6)
Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa (6-1, 209 pounds)
As the Vikings’ ace defensive coordinator, Brian Flores likes to have versatile pieces on the back end. Whether DeJean is a safety, corner, nickel back or outside cover man, he just flat-out makes plays all over the field.

7-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Blockbuster Trade Sends Caleb Williams to the New York Jets

20) Minnesota Vikings: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
Kirk Cousins might deserve an extension with the way he played this year, but outlooks are always unclear after Achilles injuries. J.J. McCarthy is a high-upside QB who could sit behind Cousins in the immediate timeline, while also giving Minnesota a succession plan.

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Latest First-Round Predictions After Week 12

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
Oregon QB Bo NIx won’t be for everyone, but he is a nice fit for the Minnesota Vikings and coach Kevin O’Connell. Nix has made drastic improvements in 2023 at Oregon, but he will likely need to be drafted in the right system with the right coordinator to carry over his success to the NFL. Nix won’t be a guy who should be expected to step in and win right away, but he can find some success in O’Connell’s offense.

Yore Mock

Trade Partner: Lions
Sent: Pick 20 (they took Jayden Daniels)
Received: Pick 26, Pick 84
Trade Partner: Panthers
Trade Partner: Pick 117 (they took Blake Corum)
Received: Pick 137, Pick 158

26. Troy Fautanu OG Washington 6’4” 317

53. Bralen Trice EDGE Washington 6’4” 267

84. Ruke Orhorhoro DT Clemson 6’4” 290

122. Khyree Jackson CB Oregon 6’3” 195

137. Payton Wilson LB NC State 6’4” 238

152. Christian Mahogany OG Boston College 6’3” 322

157. Nazir Stackhouse DT Georgia 6’3” 320

158. Brenden Rice WR USC 6’3’ 210

161. Jasheen Davis EDGE Wake Forest 6’3’ 259

211. Kitan Oladapo S Oregon State 6’1’ 217

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