Vikings Rookie on tap for bigger role
Ed Ingram is the only Minnesota Vikings rookie to play significant snaps in five games of 2022, but another man is set to see more action.
Linebacker Brian Asamoah will experience more defensive snaps as the Vikings attempt to win the NFC North for the first time since 2017. Minnesota general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah found Asamoah in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft, and now is apparently the time to begin his formal insertion inside Ed Donatell’s 3-4 defense.
Prior to Week 5, when the Vikings knocked out rival Chicago Bears 29-22, Asamoah had played only special teams, totaling 81 snaps in four weeks. Yet against Chicago, the Vikings introduced the 22-year-old to the defensive side of operations, using the Oklahoma alum on six snaps.
And that was just the tip of the iceberg, according to Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell.
O’Connell told reporters about Asamoah on Thursday, “We have EK (Eric Kendricks) and Jordan [Hicks] who played very well, but we want to be able to mix Brian in there. It’s a long season.
The comments are totally verified, because after Kendricks and Hicks on the Vikings linebacker depth chart, only Asamoah and Troy Dye exist. In fact, if Kendricks or Hicks were injured in 2022, Asamoah would be the next man to take over.
In the April draft, Minnesota operated with a defense on the brains, but so far they haven’t used much of the loot from the event. The Vikings did not immediately insert Lewis Cine into the starting lineup, and he unfortunately broke his leg in London. He will miss the rest of his rookie season. Then rookie cornerback Andrew Booth didn’t play defense either, injuring his special teams quad in a Week 1 win over the Green Bay Packers.
That leaves corner Akayleb Evans whose 32 defensive snaps lead all Vikings rookies in defense, a small number for a draft that preached defense, defense and more defense.
Asamoah signed a four-year, $5.49 million contract with a $1.17 million signing bonus in early June, securing him on the Vikings depth chart until the end of the 2025 season. is a grill specimen known for its “weird” tendencies. He ran a 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds before the draft and was theorized by some to be a 2nd-round pick. Asamoah appeared in 37 games after being redshirted in 2018 but started 19 games in 2020 and 2021 for the Sooners.
His family hails from Ghana, the same country where Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah hails from.
Asamoah’s 40-yard rush time of 4.56 seconds was the same time recorded by New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara in draft preparation.
Back in June ESPN labeled Asamoah a “remarkable summer”, as Kevin Seifert wrote of the linebacker: “Asamoah’s speed from sideline to sideline was clearly evident in the non-contact practices, as was his confidence. He joked with an assistant coach that he wanted $5 every time he ran into someone.
The Vikings face the Dolphins in Miami this weekend, owning a 3.5-point spread. Minnesota defense ranks 28th in NFL by DVOA despite going 4-1.
Asamoah was teammates with Jalen Hurts, CeeDee Lamb and Creed Humphrey in Oklahoma.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube channel, VikesNow. He host a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, airing every Wednesday with Raun Saw and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Guilty pleasures listed: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, “The Sopranos” and The Doors (the band).