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.
Below is the current projected depth chart for the Minnesota Vikings. Rookies are in bold.
|Quarterback||Kirk Cousins||Trevor Siemian||Kyle Sloter|
|Running back||Dalvin Cook||Latavius Murray||Mack Brown|
|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|
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.
Now moving on to defense, here is the anticipated depth chart. Again, rookies are in bold.
|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|
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.
- 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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