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View college action photos of every Vikings pick from the 2021 NFL Draft.
Hi Eric. Why don't the Vikings look at bringing in Sam Bradford as a backup? He is a first-string talent, with plenty of experience to help out on the field and in the meeting rooms. Plus, we could get him on the cheap. Your thoughts? Skol Vikings!
— Duane in Rockwood, Ontario
Duane starts us off with an intriguing question, but one that I don't think has much of a chance of happening at all.
There's zero doubt that Bradford was talented. In fact, he might be the best pure passer the Vikings have had in recent seasons. But as is the case for some players, injuries bit Bradford at multiple times in his career, including his final year with Minnesota.
Remember that it was Bradford who lit it up in the 2017 season opener, throwing for 343 yards and three scores for a passer rating of 143.0. It seemed as if he was destined for a stellar season after that performance, but he started just one more game that season due to a knee injury.
Bradford hasn't played since the 2018 season when he started just three games for the Cardinals. He's been out of football for almost three seasons and is almost a surefire bet to be done with his football career.
So, no, I don't think he will be getting a call from the Vikings anytime soon.
Plus, if you look at it from Minnesota's perspective, the Vikings are set with Kirk Cousins, Jake Browning, Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley. Reps will be important for the Vikings QBs on the depth chart after Cousins.
My question is about Camryn Bynum. … Vikings GM Rick Spielman said they are switching him to safety? Xavier Woods is on a 1-year contract. Do they expect use him at depth at safety or do they not expect Woods to re-sign after this season?
You are correct that Bynum will transition to safety with the Vikings after playing cornerback in college at California.
Here is what Spielman, who coincidentally announced the pick as part of that day's television coverage, said about the position switch after the conclusion of Minnesota's draft.
"We spent time with him down at the Senior Bowl when we were down there. We saw him play corner. We also saw him play safety," Spielman said. "When we went back and did our group studies, we felt he had the athletic skill set we look at and the instincts to play in the deep half of the field.
"The other thing that really sticks out is not only the character of the kid, but how intelligent the kid was," Spielman added. "So we think making that adjustment to the safety position fits the traits we're looking for very well and think that will be a very smooth transition for him."
I expect Bynum to compete with Josh Metellus and Myles Dorn for the backup safety jobs and also be a key special teams player in 2021.
Right now, it appears Woods will be the other starting safety next to Harrison Smith. But it's always a good idea to have some depth there, something that was lacking a bit in 2020.
As for Woods' future with the Vikings, the one-year deal likely benefitted both sides … and fell in line with what many players did with a reduced salary cap.
If Woods excels in 2021, the Vikings will receive solid safety play next to Smith. And if Woods bounces back from what he himself called a disappointing season, he will have likely earned himself a longer contract, whether that's with Minnesota or someone else.
I would love to see Nick Easton and Andrew Sendejo return as depth pieces. Is it unlikely after the draft we had? The Vikings still have some cap space …
— Gary G.
Two areas the Vikings might address with free agents now that the draft has concluded are backup quarterback and edge rusher opposite Danielle Hunter. Your thoughts?
— Kevin Farrell from Mississippi
I combined the questions from Gary and Kevin since both pertained to the Vikings free agency approach now that the draft is over.
The pair of names Gary mentioned are currently free agents, and both have experience with the Vikings.
I would have said Easton was a possibility before the draft, but the additions of Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis could mean the Vikings starting five is set. There is also some depth already on the interior with names such as Dakota Dozier, Mason Cole, Dru Samia and Kyle Hinton. Plus, Easton was placed on Injured Reserve in January by the Saints, so I am unsure what his current health status is.
Sendejo is an interesting name to watch. I mentioned the safeties above, and perhaps the Vikings are fine with that group for now. If they aren't, Sendejo provides veteran depth and an extensive knowledge of the defense. He could return in the role he had in 2019 as a backup safety and special teams ace. And don't forget his position flexibility, as his play as the slot cornerback in the playoff win over New Orleans was a heavily underrated reason why Minnesota won that game.
I hit on Bradford above and my doubts that he would be brought back. I'd probably lump most other quarterbacks into that group, too.
As I wrote here last week, Cousins is the unquestioned starter. And Browning, Mond and Stanley will battle for the backup job. Spielman seemed pretty content with that group when chatting with the Twin Cities media after the draft.
View the best photos of Vikings DE D.J. Wonnum from the 2020 season.
If I had to pick any of these positions as the most likely, I'd say an extra edge rusher would be the highest probability. Hunter is expected to return in 2021, and his dominating presence will be dearly welcomed back.
On the other side, my guess is that the current battle for the starting spot would be between Stephen Weatherly and D.J. Wonnum. Returning players such as Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata'afa and Jordan Brailford, plus rookies Patrick Jones II and Janarius Robinson, could potentially vie for rotational roles.
One person to keep an eye on? Kenny Willekes. He was faring well as a rookie in camp last year before he missed the entire season with an injury. He could be a sneaky candidate that would make an impact in 2021.