The Minnesota Vikings have been the same team for awhile. A good roster can carry them to 10 wins but mediocre quarterback play will never allow them to win a championship. The Vikings enter the 2020 season in that SAME spot. Let’s preview the team as they get set to enter training camp.
3 Position Battles To Watch:
Wide Receiver: Bisi Johnson, KJ Osborn, Tajae Sharpe, Chad Beebe, Quartney Davis
We know that Adam Thielen is the man here. We also know that Justin Jefferson was drafted in the first round to replace Stefon Diggs. What we don’t know is if anybody else will make noise in this wide receiver room. It’s a jumbled group. Obviously, in the past it hasn’t mattered because the Diggs and Thielen show was what carried the Vikings before. Maybe a third guy never emerges.
Left Tackle: Riley Reiff vs Ezra Cleveland
Anytime you take someone in the second round, they should have a shot to start right away. Riley Reiff is still a more than serviceable left tackle. It could be a situation where Cleveland waits his turn until Reiff’s contract runs out.
Cornerback: Jeff Gladney vs Cameron Dantzler
The Vikings took two corners with high picks this year. Jeff Gladney was taken in round 1 and Cameron Dantzler was drafted in the third round. Mike Hughes is still on the team but the deterioration of Xavier Rhodes is what has killed this secondary. Not to mention that he’s no longer in Minnesota either. Both rookies will obviously play but it’s a noteworthy battle.
Ready To Breakout: Irv Smith
I’ve talked about this before but if you’re smart, then you’re jumping on this bandwagon. Smith was terrific in limited snap duties as a rookie. The more time that goes on, the more Smith will take over for Kyle Rudolph. Choo Choo!
Rookie To Watch: DJ Wonnum
Danielle Hunter is a star but now Everson Griffin has departed from the roster. This Vikings defense isn’t going to be the same without that sidekick duo. Minnesota is taking a shot on two rookies to hopefully fill the void. DJ Wonnum and Kenny Willekes. I wrote this in my draft notes but I wasn’t a fan of either. They felt more like depth pieces compared to high end starters. Either way, it’s something to monitor.
Fantasy Sleeper: Alexander Mattison
There isn’t an obvious answer. We already talked about Irv Smith and the battle for the third wide receiver role. Alexander Mattison is a sleeper depending on what happens with Dalvin Cook. I’m not worried about him playing but more so if Cook were to get hurt again. Mattison is one of the most valuable handcuffs that’s out there and proved he was capable when given an opportunity.