The Minnesota Vikings had one of the best offenses in the NFL in 2022. They got the job done in every facet with Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson leading the passing game and Davlin Cook on the ground. Alas, for how good the offense was, the defense was poor.
Minnesota ranked 28th in points allowed and 31st in yardage surrendered. It was an impressive feat that the team was able to win 13 games last season as they had a negative point differential on the season.
If the Vikings want to advance deeper into the playoffs next season, they are going to have to improve defensively. It will be a tall task with cornerback Patrick Peterson moving on in free agency, but they have begun the process.
Minnesota has taken some steps toward accomplishing that, signing defensive end Marcus Davenport and cornerback Byron Murphy. But, that unit needs a lot more talent to even get to average levels.
With that in mind, the Vikings could go shopping for an impact defender on the trade market. One player that would make a lot of sense for them is Isaiah Simmons of the Arizona Cardinals. While Simmons is listed as a linebacker, he would fill a ton of holes on the Vikings’ defense.
Part of what made Simmons such an attractive prospect out of Clemson was the versatility that he provided. While he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations yet after being selected 8th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, his unique skill set was on full display last season.
Simmons had 99 total tackles, five tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, 4.0 sacks, two interceptions and seven passes defended. He lined up all over the defense, logging snaps at slot cornerback, box defender, defensive line, outside cornerback and free safety.
That kind of skill set is exactly what the Vikings could use as they have needs all over their defense. What would it cost for Minnesota to pull off a deal for Simmons? It would be pretty costly, as a suggested trade package would be a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, No. 87 overall, and a conditional 2024 second-round pick.
With a new regime in place, you can’t count out any moves. If the Cardinals don’t plan on signing him to a long-term deal, that is solid value to receive in return. For a rebuilding team, adding that kind of draft capital would be worthwhile.