Minnesota Vikings depth chart

Way-too-early Minnesota Vikings’ depth chart prediction

With the NFL Draft over and training camp over a month away, we are officially in the “dead zone” of the NFL offseason. With that being said, it is never too early to speculate how teams’ depth charts will look heading into next season.

The Minnesota Vikings have the majority of their depth chart set in stone, aside from some spots on offense. Here is a way-too-early Minnesota Vikings’ depth chart prediction.

Offense

Below is the current projected depth chart for the Minnesota Vikings. Rookies are in bold.

1 2 3 4 5
Quarterback Kirk Cousins Trevor Siemian Kyle Sloter
Running back Dalvin Cook Latavius Murray Mack Brown
Fullback C.J. Ham
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs Adam Thielen Kendall Wright Laquon Treadwell Tavarres King
Tight end Kyle Rudolph David Morgan Tyler Conklin
Left tackle Riley Reiff Rashod Hill
Left guard Nick Easton Cornelius Edison
Center Pat Elflein Josh Andrews
Right guard Mike Remmers Danny Isidora Colby Gossett
Right tackle Brian O’Neill Cedrick Lang
Minnesota Vikings depth chart

Kirk Cousins as a Washington Redskin. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

There are not too many surprises with the quarterback position. The Vikings signed Cousins to a massive three-year, $84 million contract during free agency. He will be the team’s franchise quarterback going forward.

Dalvin Cook missed most of last season due to an ACL tear. Prior to the injury, Cook was a favorite to win rookie of the year. His dynamic ability as a runner and receiver out of the backfield will make this offense one to be reckoned with.

There was some movement along the offensive line, as this was the Vikings’ biggest need heading into the offseason. Second-round pick Brian O’Neill will start at right tackle, forcing Mike Remmers inside at guard. It is likely that several of these linemen rotate to find the best combination of players.

Defense

Now moving on to defense, here is the anticipated depth chart. Again, rookies are in bold.

1 2 3 4 5
Left defensive end Danielle Hunter Brian Robison
Left defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson Jalyn Holmes
Right defensive tackle Linval Joseph Jaleel Johnson Dylan Bradley
Right defensive end Everson Griffen Tashawn Bower
Weak-side linebacker Ben Gedeon Reshard Cliett
Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks Eric Wilson
Strong-side linebacker Anthony Barr Kentrell Brothers
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes Trae Waynes Terence Newman Mike Hughes Mackensie Alexander
Strong safety Andrew Sendejo Anthony Harris
Free safety Harrison Smith Jack Tocho
Minnesota Vikings depth chart

Sheldon Richardson as a New York Jet. (Photo from turnonthejets.com)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The only new starter on the Minnesota Vikings’ defense is Sheldon Richardson. Richardson signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the team in March. He should provide an additional pass rush to Minnesota’s already stout defensive line.

Due to the amount of depth on the Vikings’ defense, rookies Mike Hughes and Jalyn Holmes will struggle to find playing time in 2018. However, Hughes should get on the field early as a returner.

One big question on the defense is the fate of linebacker Kentrell Brothers. Last month, Brothers was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Seventh-round pick Devante Downs has the best chance of any of the Vikings’ linebackers to fill in for Brothers. However, this remains unlikely, due to Downs recovering from a serious leg injury.

Special Teams

Minnesota Vikings depth chart

Former Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson. (Photo by Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports)

  • Kicker: Daniel Carlson
  • Punter: Ryan Quigley
  • Long Snapper: Kevin McDermott

Don’t forget about special teams! The only change from the Vikings’ 2017 roster is at the kicker position. It is facetious to guess who will win the Vikings’ kicking job this early, but Daniel Carlson does appear to be the favorite.

At Auburn, Carlson displayed one of the strongest legs in football. Although his accuracy took a small dip in 2017, the Minnesota Vikings believe he can be the team’s long-term answer at the position.

 

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vikings offseason needs

Minnesota Vikings Post-Draft Needs

Earlier this off-season, we identified five goals that the Vikings should strive for heading into the 2018 season. With the NFL Draft over, most of the major moves have come and gone. Nevertheless, the NFL never sleeps, and there is always time for improvement.

The Minnesota Vikings are one of the most complete teams in the league but could still use some additional depth on their roster. Here is an updated list of their primary needs, as well as the Vikings’ post-draft needs:

Find a Quarterback

Vikings post-draft needs

Photo by John Autey/ Pioneer Press

Heading into the off-season, the Minnesota Vikings had three quarterbacks, with all of their contracts due to expire. Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, and Case Keenum are all solid starting quarterbacks, but the team decided not to re-sign any of them.

With only second-year player Kyle Sloter on the roster, the Vikings became a clear favorite for free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins would then sign a three-year, $84 million contract with the team.

They had their guy, but the Vikings weren’t done there. General Manager Rick Spielman swung a deal with the Denver Broncos to acquire Trevor Siemian in exchange for a seventh-round pick. Siemian will provide the team with a solid backup, should Cousins get injured.

Fix the offensive line

vikings post-draft needs

Pitt tackle Brian O’Neill (70). Photo from vikingsterritory.com

The offensive line was easily the biggest concern for the Vikings heading into the off-season. After being one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL in 2016, they improved slightly, thanks to the addition of Pat Elflein, Mike Remmers, and Riley Reiff; however, they still have a massive hole at guard.

With longtime starter Joe Berger retiring, their need became even more desperate. The Vikings did take tackle Brian O’Neill in the second round of the NFL Draft, and he should become an immediate starter. He will likely start at right tackle, forcing Remmers to move inside at guard. This will help, but the offensive line is still the Vikings’ weakest position group.

Find a third receiver

After stellar performances by Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen in 2017, the Vikings were unlikely to invest heavily in the wide receiver position this off-season. However, there is a massive drop-off in production after the Diggs-Thielen combo. The Vikings’ third receiver, Laquon Treadwell, only caught 20 balls for 200 yards last season.

Adding a third receiver for Kirk Cousins was needed, and they did just that. Free agent wide receiver Kendall Wright quietly signed a one-year deal with the Vikings in April. Wright was one of the Bears’ leading targets last season, catching 59 passes for 614 yards. He will fit in right away as the Vikings’ new slot receiver.

Re-sign Terence Newman

Vikings post-draft needs

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Terence Newman breaks up a pass meant for Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

The Vikings have an incredibly deep cornerback corps, with Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and first-round pick Mike Hughes. Rhodes and Waynes will be the team’s starting corners, but Hughes will need time to develop.

Having a veteran presence at the nickel corner position would allow for more flexibility for Mike Zimmer’s play-calling, as well as giving Hughes a mentor.

Re-signing with the Vikings also makes sense for Newman. He is familiar with Zimmer’s scheme and will likely be a starter in Minnesota. Newman re-signed with the Vikings on April 30th. The deal is only for one year and is worth the veteran minimum of $1 million.

Give Linval Joseph a running mate

With names like Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, and Linval Joseph, the Vikings’ defensive line is one of the best in the league. Adding depth to the defensive line wasn’t the Vikings’ biggest need, but it would help bring their defense to the next level. Veteran defensive tackles Tom Johnson, Shemar Stephen, and Sharif Floyd are no longer with the team, making a hole at the position.

Minnesota filled this void with former Pro-Bowler Sheldon Richardson, who signed on a one-year, $8 million deal. In his rookie year with the New York Jets, Richardson looked like a future All-Pro, but his play quickly declined thereafter. With the amount of talent now surrounding him in Minnesota, 2018 could be a breakout year for Richardson.

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Kendall Wright Minnesota Vikings

Vikings sign wide receiver Kendall Wright

The Vikings continue to make key moves in free agency.

After making big-name signings like Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson, the Vikings have signed veteran wide receiver Kendall Wright. The deal is for one year and worth $1 million. Wright fills a need for the Vikings, who had little receiving talent outside of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Kendall Wright will also come to Minnesota for pennies on the dollar, making this an excellent depth signing for general manager Rick Spielman.

What the Vikings are getting

Kendall Wright

Kendall Wright plays against his former team as a Chicago Bear. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

After being drafted by the Tennessee Titans, Kendall Wright failed to live up to his potential as a No. 1 receiver. Wright struggled to stay on the field for the majority of his time in Tennessee and only surpassed 1,000 receiving yards once. After leaving Tennessee, Wright signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

In Chicago, Wright was one of the team’s most reliable targets, snagging 59 balls for 614 yards. He was one of the bright spots on an offense that rarely passed the football and was a key third-down contributor. He widely played as a slot receiver, and will likely assume that role again in Minnesota.

Wright should see a bump in his production while Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen take attention away on the perimeter. Wright will also see an improvement under center, going from Mitch Trubisky to Pro Bowler Kirk Cousins.

Trouble for Treadwell?

The Kendall Wright signing likely means the end of the Laquon Treadwell experiment in Minnesota. After being selected in the first round of the NFL Draft only two years ago, Treadwell has been a major disappointment for the Vikings. After a silent rookie season, Treadwell barely made a mark on the Vikings offense, catching 20 passes for 200 yards.

As a result of the Wright signing, Treadwell will most likely be fourth on the depth chart. While there is time for him to bounce back, Treadwell’s future in Minnesota is now in doubt.

 

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Odell Beckham Jr. fantasy injury

Fantasy reaction: Odell Beckham Jr.’s injury

The New York Giants had a rough week 5 on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Not only did they not get their first win, but they also suffered multiple injuries at one position.

The team lost four receivers on Sunday. They lost Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard to ankle injuries within a span of four plays in the second quarter. Then they lost Dwayne Harris to a foot fracture and is out for the remainder of the 2017 season.

But the bigger name is their star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Giants announced after the game that Beckham fractured his ankle and is expected to miss the rest of the season. This is of course a big blow to the Giants offense and to fantasy owners.

Fantasy players know that they can fix this, even if it’s a high-caliber player like Beckham.

The Giants situation

Granted the Giants had other options, but they don’t have someone to replace a talent like Beckham. Now they face the problem of who will replace the other receivers. According to ESPN, Shapard could miss a couple of weeks, and Marshall’s injury is unknown, but being carted off isn’t a good sign.

Odell Beckham Jr. fantasy injury

Odell Beckham Jr. (Photo by: nytimes.com)

The only wide receiver healthy as of Sunday on the roster is Roger Lewis Jr., who had a 29-yard touchdown catch on Sunday. The Giants made a couple of moves on Monday, promoting Travis Rudolph from their practice squad and re-signing Tavarres King, who played the last three seasons with the Giants. They also have tight end Evan Engram, who is more of a receiver tight end and will likely become Eli Manning’s top target. Also expect running back Shane Vereen to have a bigger role in the passing game.

It will be hard to be rely on these new faces especially with their matchup this week against the Broncos at Denver. Even with a poor offensive line, don’t expect the Giants’ offense to offer reliable fantasy options.  The only players to give a look at especially in deeper leagues are Lewis and Engram and then Vereen only in PPR.

Wavier Wire

The first option is to look at the wavier wire and look at streamable players from this point on. Of course none of these receivers are anything close to Beckham, but they could help you week-in and week-out especially if you need players with good matchups.

The first is to look at Lewis of the Giants. He’s the next man up after the Giants lost four receivers on Sunday. He had a 29-yard touchdown catch. It may not look like much, but with Beckham out and Marshall and Shepard expected to miss time, he could be the new No. 1 receiver for Big Blue. However, his next two matchups are Denver and Seattle, who will both be coming off byes. He might not be the first choice, but shouldn’t be ignored if you’re desperate.

Odell Beckham Jr. fantasy injury

Roger Lewis Jr. (Photo by: sanluisobispo.com)

A streamable receiver to look at is Carolina Panthers receiver Devin Funchess. Since they lost tight end Greg Olsen in week 2, he has seen 27 targets over the last three weeks. Funchess also has crossed the goal line on three occasions over the last two games.

Part of his success is his quarterback Cam Newton playing sensational the past two games. His 6-foot-4, 225-pound frame makes him a natural red-zone target.

The Panthers face the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the next three weeks. These three teams are ranked inside the top-10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing wide receivers. Funchess also missed practice on Monday with a knee injury, and should be watched closely if he doesn’t play on Thursday.

Other receivers to look at are Jermaine Kearse of the Jets, Mike Wallace of the Ravens, Nelson Agholor of the Eagles and Kendall Wright of the Bears.

Look at trades

If no one in free agency interests you, maybe it’s time to find a trade. Personally I’m not a big fan of trades unless I’m the one receiving the trade, but if times are desperate, then a trade could be in the cards.

One big name that is having a good start to the season is New England Patriots receiver Chris Hogan. Sure he may cost you, but if you have assets, he’s worth it. He may be 31st in the league in targets, but he is a touchdown machine. Hogan has turned four of his last 26 targets into trips to the end zone. They may have lots of mouths to feed in New England, but he has been consistent since week 2 and is continuing to play at a high pace.

Now there’s players to look at who are having down years. Names like Amari Cooper, Terrelle Pryor, Sammy Watkins and Golden Tate could be valuable down the stretch if they turn it around. Some fantasy owners might give up these players for the right price, and it might not take much to land these players. Even with their struggles, they are top receivers on their teams. Their targets will remain consistent, and the plan here is to hope for a bounce back.

Now if you’re one of those players that want to land a star to replace a star then look at Julio Jones. He has struggled out of the gate with no touchdowns, but coming off a bye could be what Jones needs to get going. If you have assets and want to make the swing to the fences, this a trade you want to try.

Best bet: Look for the hot hand

In the end, the best bet is to look at players that are hot. Running backs, wide receivers and tight ends that are playing consistent are the best way to replace Beckham without getting rid of your whole team. There’s no clear way to replace Beckham, but we all can relate to losing the star of your team. Hopefully to most they can overcome this, but continue to make moves for the hot hand if there’s no clear long-term replacement.

 

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Chicago Bears 2017 NFL Draft Profile

On the third day of Draftmas TGH gave to me! The Chicago Bears Draft Profile! (It makes more sense if you sing it..)

Summary

The Bears had a very underwhelming season in a very tough division. The Vikings, Packers and Lions were all solid teams last year and will probably continue that into next year.

The offseason was an interesting one for the Midway Monsters. They let go of Jay Cutler much to the surprise of no one and they brought in Mike Glennon who seemed to have been forgotten about until this offseason. Personally I think Glennon has a lot to prove and deserves a starting role. We will see if the Bears risk will pay off.

They also strengthened their Wideout core by adding Markus Wheaton, Rueben Randle and Kendall Wright. While all of them have their issues they also all have a lot of talent in completely different ways. Paring them with the surprise in Cameron Meredith and the hopefully healthy Kevin White and this could be one of the more interesting Wide Receiver groups in the NFL.

Lastly they added Prince Amukamara and Quitin Demps to try and shore up their Defensive Backs. While they aren’t big names they still should add some much needed help in the secondary.

Picks and Needs

The Bears have 7 picks in this draft. It is good that they have kept so many and should be able to fill some major holes with them.

First round: (1) No. 3

Second round: (1) No. 36

Third round: (1) No. 67

Fourth round: (2) No. 111, No. 117

Fifth round: (1) No. 147

Sixth round: (0)

Seventh round: (1) No. 221

Having two fourth round picks should allow Chicago to find some solid depth players. Also while I won’t be looking at trades in this Profile I can definitely see the Bears making some moves up or down in the draft depending on their board.

The worst thing Chicago can do with these picks is pick an early Quarterback or panic and trade up for someone they do not really need.

Here are their needs at Offense:

Left Tackle

Left Guard

Backup Pass Catching Tight End (Preferably one that they can grow)

Now for Defense:

Cornerback

Safety (Either one)

Edge Rushing Defensive End

Inside Linebacker to go along with Trevathan

Targets and Thoughts

I will pick who I think is best for the team just as I did in my other draft profile. There will be no trades and I will be looking at just the first three rounds.

Courtesy of: Youtube.com

First Round:

Pick #3: Jamal Adams SS, LSU

What is not to like about this kid? He is everything you could ask for in a safety and more. Many people believe he might be the safest pick in the draft.

Second Round:

Pick #36: Cordrea Tankersley CB, Clemson

It seems as though his choice to go back for his Senior Year payed off. He won a National Championship and is now one of the best Corners in the draft. It is very possible he could be off the board before the 36th pick but, if he is still here I think the Bears continue adding to their defense.

Third Round:

Pick #67: Roderick Johnson OT, Florida State

At 6’7, 298, Johnson has the size and arm length to be a very productive left tackle. His footwork needs some fine tuning but, he has the potential to be an extremely good asset for the Bears offensive line.

Conclusion

The Bears can add some needed pieces to help them contend in the brutal NFC North. Shoring up the secondary and adding a tackle may not seem like much but, it can go a long way for a team that struggled much of last season. Hopefully Mike Glennon will be the Quarterback they needed.

Thank you for joining us on our third day of TGH Draftmas! Check back tomorrow where we will be bringing you the Draft Profile of the Jacksonville Jaguars!

You can read all of the previous days of Draftmas below!

Draftmas Day 1: Cleveland Browns

Draftmas Day 2: San Francisco 49ers

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