I think the Vikings as whole, even with the losses of Harvin and Winfield are a better team. I am very happy with the starters we have outside of MLB and of course like everyone else; hoping to see Ponder validate himself as a worthy first round draft pick.
There are many good and great starters on both sides of the ball and special teams as well. Also a lot of new and younger guys with a mountain of potential. I think having so many good players spread out throughout the team is what in some aspects makes this team a legitimate threat and Vikings' fans should all be very optimistic about their chances this year, as well as years to come, as this is a team built for the long haul. And a team that is built for the long haul certainly must have some good depth players and back ups that could potentially start on other squads.
So, what is one of the things that will help Minnesota win games this year that most aren't talking about? I think it is the players that play behind the starters. I am not saying this is a primary reason for the Vikings to have a successful season, but still an important one. Having guys that can step in at a moments notice in the event of an injury or whatever is vital. Though, the second stringers and third will see playing time anyway, and to make an impact with what limited time they get is very important not just to their team, but also their careers.
So, who are the back ups that could or should potentially step up and at least have a little positive impact on Vikings' games? I think there are several. Everson Griffen isn't technically a starter, but may be the strongest number two we have. Toby Gerhart is entering his last year in his contract and would not be surprised a bit if we saw his best year with what limited time he will see the field playing behind Adrian Peterson. There wee a lot of big hopes for John Carlson when he came to town only to have them all thrown out the window, now with most fans calling for him to be released, especially with many wanting to see Ellison seeing the field more, who also is another very good number two. John Carlson may surprise us this year a little and put up some decent numbers that will help make other's jobs on the offensive side of the ball easier. He definitely will have the element of surprise if does indeed do what many hoped he would last year.
We also have a few younger guys we have been waiting for them to have a break out year, or at least a decent one. Guys like Christian Ballard, Brandon Fusco and even A.J. Jefferson has been marked by many to be an eventually solid contributor to the secondary. There are also a lot of eyes on Patterson, Wright, Webb, Ellison and even Felton this year, and with so many good players; everyone for the most part has to be on their very best game, or they could very well drop a spot down on the depth chart. So, of all these back ups; who will step up the most, and will they step up enough to unseat one of the current starters. As of now, looking at the current starters outside of finding a MLB, Charlie Johnson seems to be the consensus number one that fans want to see replaced. So, who are our best second string players in you opinion?