Training Camp gets a little bit closer every day for the Minnesota Vikings (and the 31 NFL teams that we don’t care about quite as much). There are going to be quite a few positional battles during Training Camp that we, as Vikings fans, are interested in, but one of them is apparently moving the needle at a larger level.
Pro Football Focus has compiled what they think are some of the biggest positional battles in camps around the NFL and has deemed the three-way dance at the cornerback position for the Vikings to be among them.
While the CB battle for the Vikings is given an “honorable mention” on PFF’s list, it does cite three specific names. Those are veteran Patrick Peterson, third-year man Cameron Dantzler, and rookie Andrew Booth Jr.
We know what Peterson is capable of, as he’s had a storied NFL career and provided solid coverage throughout last season, even though he missed four games with a combination of injuries and COVID.
Dantzler is someone that we’ve already talked about potentially “making the leap” in 2022 after a couple of up-and-down seasons. He’s dealt with a lot of injuries and started the season in Mike Zimmer’s doghouse last season, but did start to provide more consistent play as the season went on.
Booth is the real wild card here. Thought by many to have first-round talent, he slid far enough to allow the Vikings to trade up in the second round and acquire him. He also had surgery on a sports hernia shortly after Clemson’s season ended last year and was not a big participant in the offseason program as a result of that, but all signs are pointing to him being ready for camp.
I’m not sure if there’s going to be a real “battle” for the positions, to be honest. I do think that Peterson and Dantzler are going to be the starters when the Vikings take the field against Green Bay in Week 1 (barring injuries, of course), but that both of those guys and Booth are going to see significant time. After all, as we constantly say, in today’s NFL there’s no such thing as too many good cornerbacks.
Honestly, I think the bigger battle might be whether or not Dantzler finally puts together a consistent enough season to surpass Peterson as CB1 on the overall depth chart. Yes, Peterson was solid in 2021 as I mentioned, but he’s not getting any younger and is just as valuable in his role as a mentor as he is as a player. If Dantzler continues to develop and Booth can show that he’s ready as the season wears on, it will give the Vikings a very solid young duo at cornerback going into 2023 and could, potentially, leave Peterson out in the cold.
We’ll talk about some of the other Training Camp battles to keep an eye on for the Vikings as we get closer to the start of camp, but we wanted to point out that one in particular since one of the national outlets has put a bit of a spotlight on it already.