The first week of Organized Team Activities are in the books for the Minnesota Vikings, and if you were hoping for some deep, significant insights as to the battles for the few spots in the starting lineup that might be open. . .well, sorry, but it isn’t happening yet.
According to Chad Graff from The Athletic, there are three spots that are the focus of any potential training camp “battles” that we’ll see this July and August. Those are right guard, cornerback, and safety. According to Graff’s report, here’s how those are developing thus far.
At the right guard spot, the first team snaps got split between a pair of free agent signees: Jesse Davis and Chris Reed. Not surprisingly, second-round pick Ed Ingram did not get any snaps with the first team in the opening week of OTAs. Slightly more surprising. . .and a bit disappointing, I might say. . .is that Wyatt Davis also did not get any snaps with the first team. I’m hoping it’s not time to completely abandon all hope for Wyatt Davis yet, but at this point I’m not sure.
In addition, Garrett Bradbury did get all the first-team snaps at center. His spot isn’t one that’s thought to be “up for grabs,” but it is a bit notable.
At cornerback, second-round pick Andrew Booth Jr. remains sidelined as he continues his recovery from sports hernia surgery. That left Cameron Dantzler to take all of the snaps across from Patrick Peterson at the cornerback spot. It would be nice if the roller coaster that Dantzler has been on in his first two seasons could get back to one of the peaks. . .like we thought it was going to do as he went into his second season before he was a healthy scratch for the season opener. I believe that Booth, if he’s fully recovered, will be the Week 1 starter, but more snaps for Dantzler is always a positive.
At safety, the absence of star Harrison Smith (who was away for the birth of his child) wasn’t enough to give first-round pick Lewis Cine any time with the first-team defense. Cam Bynum and Josh Metellus took all the first-team snaps at the safety spots while Cine worked with the second team. I certainly wouldn’t panic about this one yet. . .Cine will be out there next to Smith when Week 1 comes around, barring injury.
The Vikings have a few more OTA sessions before their mandatory mini-camp in early June, and then not much else until Training Camp gets underway in late July. Hopefully we’ll get more of an idea of what’s happening at those positions before the big camp gets underway.