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Twelve Topics for Vikings Training Camp

Twelve evolving stories once training camp opens next weekend

It’s officially the opening of Minnesota Vikings’ training camp, and with that there are several topics that will be among the more important stories to unfold over the month of August as the Vikings enter the most important preparation phase for the regular season. Here are twelve topics to keep an eye on over the course of training camp, in no particular order:

1. Will Jordan Addison Prove to be a Legitimate WR2?

Addison was either limited or out for most of Vikings’ rookie camp, OTAs, and mini-camp, so we haven’t seen much of him so far in a Vikings’ uniform. He made some news in not a good way after picking up a 140mph speeding ticket, and those types of things sometimes can be insightful into character and sometimes can prove to be isolated learning experiences for a young man entering a brighter spotlight.

In any case, there are no reserved starting positions for rookies in the NFL and Addison will have to earn the WR2 spot he was drafted to fill. He has shown the talent in college at a high level, but will there be any hiccups for him learning the system or executing at a high level now that he’s in the NFL? Will he dazzle in training camp practices and pre-season games? Will there be any injury issues going forward?

How the rest of the Vikings’ WR depth chart plays out will be interesting too.

2. How will the Vikings’ Cornerback Depth Chart Play Out?

The Vikings have spent a lot of their draft capital on the cornerback position the past two seasons, in addition to making a free agent acquisition in Byron Murphy Jr.. Who else makes it to the top of the depth chart? Some buzz around Akayleb Evans and Mekhi Blackmon, but Andrew Booth Jr. may be the most talented if he can get it together and stay healthy- the latter is also a concern for Evans. There are ten CBs currently on the roster, and at least a few safeties that could take reps at a cornerback position too. Will there be any surprises? Who makes the starting lineup?

3. How Will the Edge Rushers Look?

There is still no resolution to the Danielle Hunter contract impasse, although he has showed up for training camp. It’s possible this could be a hold-in. That’s perhaps encouraging that a new deal will get done. But if not, will he be traded? If he’s not there, who takes his place?

Beyond Hunter, what about Marcus Davenport? Will he prove a worthy acquisition? How will the depth players sort out? Any surprises?

4. What More Will We Learn About Brian Flores’ Defense?

Flores wasn’t shy about installing his defense early in the off-season, but what more will we learn about it from training camp? His mantra is versatility with players so will we see some players in unexpected positions? Will there be some interesting sub-package personnel?

5. How Will the Offensive Line Hold Up?

Getting the protection calls right and all the blitzing and twisting defensive players blocked will be a tall task for the Vikings’ offensive line every day in training camp. How well will they manage? Personnel is pretty well set among starters, but will they show improvement? Will the fact that Kirk Cousins took the most hits of any quarterback last year create more urgency for them in pass protection this year?

6. What New Looks Will We See from the Offense?

The Vikings acquired top blocking TE Josh Oliver, and fullback CJ Ham is now the highest paid in the running back room. Does that mean we’ll see more 12 and 21 personnel groups (and less WR3) from the Vikings’ offense? Kevin O’Connell has said he wants to be better running the ball this season (although not necessarily run it more often), and those personnel formations could create good opportunities for passing too.

7. Mr. Mankato Eagan?

Who will emerge as Mr. Eagan this year? I don’t know if there’s ever been an official eligibility criterion established, but typically it’s reserved for day three or undrafted depth players in their first couple years in the league. My bet this year is on Jalen Nailor, but there are lots of possibilities.

8. Interior Defensive Line

There are a lot of unfamiliar faces among the Vikings’ interior defensive line group, and it will be interesting to see how things unfold with that unit. Khyiris Tonga proved to be an excellent acquisition last year at nose guard, and hopefully he can maintain his positive momentum this year as well. Could Dean Lowry be more effective in Minnesota after a largely mediocre stint in Green Bay? What about rookie Jacquelin Roy? Can Harrison Phillips show improvement over an above average but not outstanding first year with the Vikings? Will Marcus Davenport move inside on passing downs?

9. How will the Top UDFAs Fare?

Andre Carter II and Ivan Pace Jr. were two higher profile UDFA signings for the Vikings this year, and Luigi Vilain was last year. Will any of those three earn significant reps this year for the Vikings? Will they all make the roster? Will any other UDFAs make the roster this year?

10. What About Lewis Cine?

Cine has made a full recovery from his ankle/foot injury he suffered early last season but has yet to impact the safety position group. He wasn’t really under consideration last year at training camp for a starting job, and he’s behind Harrison Smith, Cam Bynum, and Josh Mettelus on the depth chart at present. Will he step up his game in training camp this year?

11. Running Back Depth Chart

Alexander looks set to be RB1 this season for the Vikings, but it also seems like it may be more of a running-back-by-committee approach for the Vikings this season too. Kene Nwangwu was getting the RB2 reps earlier this off-season, but Ty Chandler has more experience at the position in college. Both are speedsters, but which one will win the RB2 job? And how will rookie DeWayne McBride look in pre-season action?

12. Will Jaren Hall be a Keeper?

Will Jaren Hall prove to be a quarterback who can make it in the NFL at some level? Or will he add to the list of those that didn’t work out? My guess is that he’ll end up on the practice squad for the Vikings this season with Nick Mullens keeping the QB2 spot, but if he does well in training camp and puts on a show in preseason games, then what?


Who will be Mr. Mankato/Eagan this year?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    LB Ivan Pace Jr.
    (232 votes)
  • 12%
    WR Jalen Nailor
    (130 votes)
  • 13%
    RB Ty Chandler
    (138 votes)
  • 1%
    RB Kene Nwangwu
    (14 votes)
  • 4%
    ED Andre Carter II
    (47 votes)
  • 1%
    ED Luigi Vilain
    (11 votes)
  • 4%
    CB Akayleb Evans
    (49 votes)
  • 1%
    S/CB Jay Ward
    (19 votes)
  • 5%
    DT Jacquelin Roy
    (53 votes)
  • 14%
    RB DeWayne McBride
    (146 votes)
  • 8%
    QB Jaren Hall
    (87 votes)
  • 0%
    CB Kalon Barnes
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    LB William Kwenkeu
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    OT Vederian Lowe
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    TE Nick Muse
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    DT Esezi Otomewo
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    K Jack Podlesny
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    OL Jacky Chen
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    C Alan Ali
    (4 votes)
  • 0%
    C Josh Sokol
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    NT Calvin Avery
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    DT Junior Aho
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    Someone Else
    (31 votes)
1008 votes total Vote Now