ESPN Suggests Vikings Upgraded at EDGE by Signing Jonathan Greenard over Danielle Hunter

Jonathan Greenard, Minnesota Vikings, Danielle Hunter
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

At the outset of the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings had several roster decisions to make. With players like Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter set for free agency without being able to franchise tag either one, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah had a big challenge ahead. The biggest move was adding Jonathan Greenard, who’s set to essentially replace Hunter as a pass-rusher.

Upon first glance, many were confused by the Vikings shelling out $19 million annually to another pass-rusher not named Danielle Hunter, yet, others suggest that rate was a bargain. Consider that Hunter signed for $24.5 million per season, and is three years older, and the Vikings’ decision doesn’t look so bad.

But don’t just take our purple-tinted outlook on the situation as gospel. Some analysts such as ESPN’s Seth Walder have even suggested that Greenard would be preferred over Hunter, if given the choice.

“I’m grading this deal just for the situation Houston found itself in Tuesday (post-Greenard loss), but I would be more critical if I included choosing Hunter over Greenard. This is a take, granted, but I would prefer Greenard to Hunter because he’s younger, has better advanced metrics and is the better run defender. And that’s before looking at the difference in price. But with Greenard gone, Houston did well to add Hunter at a time when the team’s rookie QB contract winning window is wide-open.”

ESPN’s Seth Walder on Jonathan Greenard

Greenard recorded 12.5 sacks compared to Hunter’s 16.5 last season. But Greenard’s 22% pass-rush win-rate actually rated better than Hunter’s (14%). Greenard’s 37% run-stop rate would have led the NFL, had he played enough run-stopping downs to qualify among league leaders.

While it may be hard to stomach the loss of Hunter, by all appearances, the Vikings found a pretty good replacement in Jonathan Greenard.

Related: Minnesota Vikings Had a Good Reason to Walk Away from L’Jarius Sneed Trade

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