In the leadup to the 2022 NFL Draft, Vikings.com is taking a position-by-position look at prospects who have garnered a range of attention from national outlets. The series will include rankings by those national outlets, stats and background information for multiple prospects. We’ll also include comments that experts shared during interviews.
Vikings status at defensive tackle
The Vikings are returning Dalvin Tomlinson, who helped anchor the interior defensive line last season, but parted ways in free agency with Michael Pierce. Minnesota signed defensive tackle Harrison Phillips, who spent his first four NFL seasons in Buffalo.
Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell highlighted the way Phillips affects opponents in the running and passing games and will be an excellent fit beside Tomlinson.
“He’s played consistently at a high level, really well coached in that defense there in Buffalo,” O’Connell said. “Then you see some of the off-the-field stuff and realize when you start talking about the type of guy we want, who we want and what it means to be a Viking on our football team, he fits all of those molds, checks all of those boxes. And I definitely think our community, all of Minnesota will feel him and his presence in the community and then our teammates in the locker room. He sets the standard. “
Minnesota retains Armon Watts, who stepped in when called upon last season. The 25-year-old played all 17 games for the Vikings and made nine starts at defensive tackle. He led all of Minnesota’s interior defensive linemen with 46 tackles (20 solo).
The Vikings called on James Lynch to make his first career start at San Francisco last year and will watch for the 2020 fourth-round draft pick to take another step forward.
Other defensive tackles on Minnesota’s roster include 2021 draft pick Jaylen Twyman, who was sidelined all of his rookie season after being injured in a shooting, Jordon Scott, TY McGill and TJ Smith.
Chris Trapasso is an NFL Draft writer with CBS Sports. He is also a contributing writer for The Buffalo News’ “BN Blitz” and has previously worked with NFL.com, FOX Sports and Bleacher Report. Trapasso will offer evaluations of the 2022 DT class. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisTrapasso for his analysis.
How do you expect Minnesota to approach the draft with defensive tackle in mind?
‘They need an interior pass rusher. With Dalvin Tomlinson and Harrison Phillips on the interior, they should be content with their group on first down. But they need some juice to generate push on a regular basis from the inside so all the attention won’ t be fixed on Hunter and Smith on the outside. “
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah currently has five defensive tackles in his overall Top 50: 11. Jordan Davis, 20. Devonte Wyatt, 38. Travis Jones, 49. Perrion Winfrey and No. 50 Logan Hall
ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., has one defensive tackle in his overall Top 25: 22. Davis
NOTE: Tipper also included Wyatt on his list at No. 23 but listed him as a DE rather than a DT, but he also ranked Wyatt as the No. 2 DT.
Rankings for each player within the tight end position group by Jeremiah, his NFL Media counterpart Bucky BrooksTipper, analytics site Pro Football Focus and The Athletic’s Dane Brugler are listed below.
Note: Heights and weights are from each player’s profile on NFL.com (linked for each player’s name).