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Vikings release first regular season depth chart

And it has some surprises

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of the 2021 NFL season inching closer for the Minnesota Vikings, the team has released their first depth chart of the regular season, and there are a couple of surprises on it.

Let’s take a look at what the team has put out as shown on the team’s official website. The first name listed at each position is your starter, with the backups listed in order after them.


Left Defensive End - Danielle Hunter, Stephen Weatherly

Right Defensive End - D.J. Wonnum, Everson Griffen, Patrick Jones II

Nose Tackle - Michael Pierce, Armon Watts, James Lynch

Defensive Tackle - Dalvin Tomlinson, Sheldon Richardson

Strong Side Linebacker - Anthony Barr, Blake Lynch, Ryan Connelly

Middle Linebacker - Eric Kendricks, Troy Dye

Weak Side Linebacker - Nick Vigil, Chazz Surratt

Cornerback 1 - Patrick Peterson, Bashaud Breeland

Cornerback 2 - Mackensie Alexander, Kris Boyd

Cornerback 3 - Harrison Hand, Cameron Dantzler

Safety 1 - Harrison Smith, Xavier Woods

Safety 2 - Josh Metellus, Camryn Bynum

A couple of thoughts on the defense here. . .

  • The one starting position that actually had a battle during Training Camp was won by the second-year man, D.J. Wonnum. He’s beaten out Stephen Weatherly for the right to be the other defensive end across from Danielle Hunter. At this point, that’s probably a good thing, given that Wonnum has a lot more upside than Weatherly does. Here’s hoping he can keep building on what he showed as a rookie.
  • How far has Cameron Dantzler’s star fallen? After a strong finish to the end of last season, he’s not CB1. . .or 2. . .or 3. . .or 4. As it stands right now, he’s CB5 at best. I’m not sure if anyone expected that. I know I didn’t. Hopefully he’ll get his mojo back at some point.

And now the other side of the ball.


Quarterback - Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond

Running Back - Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison

Fullback - C.J. Ham

Wide Receiver 1 - Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen

Wide Receiver 2 - K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Wide Receiver 3 - Dede Westbrook

Tight End - Tyler Conklin, Brandon Dillon, Chris Herndon, Ben Ellefson

Left Tackle - Rashod Hill, Christian Darrisaw

Left Guard - Ezra Cleveland

Center - Garrett Bradbury, Mason Cole

Right Guard - Oli Udoh, Wyatt Davis

Right Tackle - Brian O’Neill, Blake Brandel

Thoughts on the offense. . .

  • I’m assuming that Westbrook is at the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart at this point due to him still recovering from his ACL tear. He’ll be contributing soon enough, but that’s where he is for now.
  • The newly-acquired Chris Herndon is behind Brandon Dillon on the depth chart, but again I’m guessing that’s because of a lack of familiarity with the offense. I think he’ll be at least TE2 soon enough.
  • Mond might be listed as the backup quarterback on the depth chart, but I’m pretty sure that Sean Mannion is actually QB2 at this point. We’re going to have to see how the Vikings handle that situation, since the team can only “elevate” Mannion from the practice squad to the active roster twice before they have to sign him permanently or let him go.

Special Teams

Kicker - Greg Joseph

Punter/Holder - Jordan Berry

Long Snapper - Andrew DePaola

Kick Returner - Ihmir Smith-Marsette, K.J. Osborn

Punt Returner - K.J. Osborn, Dede Westbrook, Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Special Teams thoughts. . .

  • Osborn was one of the worst punt returners in the league last year, but is getting another shot because, from all reports, he’s leaps and bounds ahead of where he was last season. Good on him.
  • It will be interesting to see what the Vikings do with the kick return spot when Kene Nwangwu is eligible to return in Week 4 and whether or not Smith-Marsette holds on to the spot.

And that’s your first official Vikings’ depth chart of 2021, folks. What do you think?