During our latest Access Vikings podcast, we didn’t get to every question sent via Twitter to either @GoesslingStrib, @Andrew_Krammer or @RandBall, so here we go.
Does Tashawn Bower make the team if he keeps his level of game performance up? DE #s kept? Does he make it to the PS?
— David Stefano (@Luft_Krigare) August 14, 2017
Bower got the most guaranteed money ($45,000) of any of the Vikings’ 13 undrafted free agent signings in May. He showed why during a team-high 47 defensive snaps last week in Buffalo. The former LSU defensive end was disruptive with a sack, pass deflection, additional quarterback hit and a few pressures on the Bills backups. Play like that may help create a logjam at the position behind the Vikings’ three-man rotation in Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter and Brian Robison. It’ll be a tougher D-line roster to crack than many in the NFL, but the Vikings have previously kept five defensive ends on the 53-man roster when the talent warrants. Young defensive ends Stephen Weatherly and Ifeadi Odenigbo are also in the mix.
Would like to know your thoughts about DT position, that besides Joseph, seems everybody are in the flux. Should we go younger or keep vets?
— Vikings FA (@VikingsFA_) August 14, 2017
There could be a familiar name or two squeezed out of the Vikings defensive line competition. At this point, both veteran Tom Johnson and free agent addition Datone Jones seem to be in the Vikings’ plans at defensive tackle next to Linval Joseph. Traditionally, four defensive tackles have been kept on the 53-man roster, leaving a spot up for grabs between Shamar Stephen and rookies Jaleel Johnson and Dylan Bradley. How well Stephen, Johnson or Bradley can play Joseph’s position at nose tackle and stop the run may be a big factor.
I think with Reiff back many are interested in seeing Hill on the right side with Remmers challenging a struggling Berger at RG. Any chance?
— Nick Miller (@NicholasMMiller) August 14, 2017
Through this weekend, Rashod Hill was still taking the majority of first-team reps at left tackle while Riley Reiff eases back in from his back injury at the start of training camp. Since Hill has been needed on the left side, we haven’t seen much of him playing on the right. The right tackle job belongs to Mike Remmers after the Vikings guaranteed him $10.5 million in free agency. However, it would make sense for Hill to get acclimated there eventually should Reiff play in the preseason. Hill looks like the Vikings’ first choice for swing tackle with Jeremiah Sirles also capable of playing both sides.