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Way-too-early Minnesota Vikings’ depth chart prediction

Minnesota Vikings depth chart

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.

12345
QuarterbackKirk CousinsTrevor SiemianKyle Sloter
Running backDalvin CookLatavius MurrayMack Brown
FullbackC.J. Ham
Wide receiverStefon DiggsAdam ThielenKendall WrightLaquon TreadwellTavarres King
Tight endKyle RudolphDavid MorganTyler Conklin
Left tackleRiley ReiffRashod Hill
Left guardNick EastonCornelius Edison
CenterPat ElfleinJosh Andrews
Right guardMike RemmersDanny IsidoraColby Gossett
Right tackleBrian O’NeillCedrick 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.

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Left defensive endDanielle HunterBrian Robison
Left defensive tackleSheldon RichardsonJalyn Holmes
Right defensive tackleLinval JosephJaleel JohnsonDylan Bradley
Right defensive endEverson GriffenTashawn Bower
Weak-side linebackerBen GedeonReshard Cliett
Middle linebackerEric KendricksEric Wilson
Strong-side linebackerAnthony BarrKentrell Brothers
CornerbackXavier RhodesTrae WaynesTerence NewmanMike HughesMackensie Alexander
Strong safetyAndrew SendejoAnthony Harris
Free safetyHarrison SmithJack 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.

 

Featured image by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune

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