With the Minnesota Vikings preparing to take the field for the first time in 2016 when they battle the Cincinnati Bengals in preseason action on Friday, they have released their first depth charts for the year. Let's take a look at the depth charts, and I'll have a few thoughts after they've been listed. We'll start with the offense.
|Position||Starter||Backup||3rd String||4th String||5th String||6th String|
|QB||Teddy Bridgewater||Shaun Hill||Joel Stave|
|HB||Adrian Peterson||Jerick McKinnon||Matt Asiata||Jhurell Pressley||C.J. Ham||Kevin Monangai|
|FB||Zach Line||Blake Renaud|
|WR1||Stefon Diggs||Adam Thielen*||Cordarrelle Patterson*||Jarius Wright||Moritz Böhringer||Marken Michel|
|WR2||Charles Johnson||Laquon Treadwell||Isaac Freuchte||Terrell Sinkfield||Troy Stoudermire|
|TE||Kyle Rudolph||MyCole Pruitt||David Morgan||Brian Leonhardt||Kyle Carter|
|LT||Matt Kalil||Jeremiah Sirles||Carter Bykowski|
|LG||Alex Boone||Zac Kerin||Willie Beavers|
|C||John Sullivan||Joe Berger||Nick Easton|
|RG||Brandon Fusco||Isame Faciane||Sean Hickey|
|RT||Andre Smith||T.J. Clemmings||Austin Shepherd|
Thielen and Patterson have a * next to their names the Vikings listed them in the same spot on their depth chart. I have them the way I have them because. . .well, frankly, I like Thielen more at this point.
The offensive line is shaking out a lot like most thought it would. Sullivan appears to have taken his starting job back at the pivot, while Joe Berger is shown as his backup. Despite the presence of Kerin and Faciane where they are on the depth chart, I would have to believe that in a game situation that Berger would be the primary backup at left guard and/or right guard if either Boone or Fusco were to go down. The issue with Mike Harris really throws a wrench into the depth on the offensive line, as he could have been a backup at numerous positions as well.
Charles Johnson's renaissance seems to be continuing, as he's listed ahead of Treadwell on the depth chart at this point. If this team gets 2014 Charles Johnson back, it would really help this group of receivers a lot.
Let's move on to the defensive side here,shall we?
|Position||Starter||Backup||3rd String||4th String||5th String|
|LE||Brian Robison||Danielle Hunter||Zach Moore||Thieren Cockran|
|DT||Sharrif Floyd||Tom Johnson||Scott Crichton||Travis Raciti||Claudell Louis|
|NT||Linval Joseph||Shamar Stephen||Kenrick Ellis||Toby Johnson|
|RE||Everson Griffen||Justin Trattou||Stephen Weatherly||Denzell Perine|
|WLB||Chad Greenway||Emmanuel Lamur||Brandon Watts|
|MLB||Eric Kendricks||Audie Cole||Kentrell Brothers|
|SLB||Anthony Barr||Edmond Robinson||Jake Ganus||Terrance Plummer|
|LCB||Terence Newman||Trae Waynes||Jabari Price||Tre Roberson|
|RCB||Xavier Rhodes||Captain Munnerlyn||Mackensie Alexander||Marcus Sherels||Melvin White|
|SS||Andrew Sendejo||Michael Griffin||Jayron Kearse|
|FS||Harrison Smith||Anthony Harris||Antone Exum|
A couple of things here as well:
To this point, Chad Greenway is still listed as the starter at the weakside linebacker spot. However, with Kendricks and Barr the two primary linebackers in any of the team's sub-packages, that spot isn't quite as crucial. . .however, I would be surprised if Lamur didn't get a lot of snaps at that spot as well. He and Greenway would probably be more of a 1a and 1b at this point.
Antone Exum appears to have gotten a demotion, as he's now behind Anthony Harris for the right to be Harrison Smith's backup. Frankly, and I said this on Roughing the Podcast the other day (which you should have listened to by now), it wouldn't surprise me to see Michael Griffin get cut and for this team to roll with a young backup duo of Harris and Kearse behind Smith and Sendejo.
Scott Crichton appears to be on his last chance, and he's been shifted to defensive tackle. I'm not sure how much that's going to help him. . .as far as pass rushing, the team has been more apt to move Robison inside in those situations, and with the emergence of Danielle Hunter, they'll likely keep doing that. He's probably going to need a hell of a preseason to stay on this roster.
Speaking of Robison, he's still holding off Hunter. . .at least for now. . .as the starter at left defensive end. We'll see how long that lasts.
There's no real drama on the special teams depth chart. . .Blair Walsh is listed as the kicker, Jeff Locke as the punter, and Kevin McDermott as the long snapper. Patterson is listed as the #1 kick returner, with Sherels as the #2 guy and Stoudermire as the #3. On punt returns, Sherels is the primary guy, with Thielen listed as his backup and Stoudermire once again in the third spot.
There's the first depth chart for your Minnesota Vikings going into the preseason opener, folks. What do you think? Any real surprises?