The Minnesota Vikings released their first unofficial depth chart on Monday, giving insight to questions -- for the time being -- about the status of a few training camp position battles.
-- The headliner is obviously Cook, a rookie who was drafted in the second round. He's drawn rave reviews in camp, and is already ahead of incumbent starter McKinnon. The Vikings activated Latavius Murray off the PUP list Monday, potentially complicating things. He hasn't practiced at camp yet, and was at his best on the goal-line last season. There's a good chance that Cook keeps this spot once the real games begin.
-- No surprises here. The Vikings' offense used a fullback on 20 percent of their plays last season, and there's only one of them on the roster. Ham was known for his pass protection at Division II Augustana, another point in his favor. If he can chip in on special teams, there's probably a place for him on the roster.
|Stacy Coley / R.J. Shelton|
-- Is Floyd's suspension holding him back, or has Treadwell surpassed him? We'll see, but camp-watchers are bullish on Treadwell, who was on the field for just 80 plays last season.
-- The other news item out of camp Monday was that Reiff is finally healthy after missing 10 days of camp with a back injury. Hill also went down Saturday night with an apparent injury and was replaced by Jeremiah Sirles. His agent clarified on Twitter that Hill wasn't seriously hurt.
-- Sirles is emerging into a versatile backup lineman, an important role that Joe Berger filled from 2011-14 before taking over the full-time starting center spot in 2015.
-- Easton started five games for the purple last year, but Elflein should have the starting job by the time Minnesota hosts New Orleans in Week 1. Either way, the Vikings have solid depth at the position.
-- The experiment at right and left tackle is over for T.J. Clemmings, who started 30 games as a bookend for Minnesota the past two seasons.
-- Another offseason acquisition, Remmers seemingly has this job locked down. Beavers has reportedly shown improvement after a disastrous debut, but unseating a $30 million tackle will be tough.
|Kyle Carter/Bucky Hodges|
-- Hodges may be a post-draft darling thanks to his size and receiving chops, but he was never going to unseat Rudolph or Morgan right away. Morgan figures to step into Rhett Ellison's spot, and his run-blocking abilities could make it tough for Hodges to break in.
-- Diggs is the Vikings' No. 1 receiver. No surprises there. Wright is unlikely to get much run this season after appearing on just 11.3 percent of Minnesota's offensive plays last season. And hey, Bhringer has finally surpassed someone on the depth chart.
-- Who will back up Bradford? Right now, it looks like Keenum has the advantage.It's well known that theVikings organization thinks highlyof Heinicke, but (barring a perfect preseason) it's unlikely he will get the nod behind Bradford by Week 1.
-- Hunter led the Vikings with 12 1/2 sacks last season but didn't start a game, so it's not exactly surprising to see that he's (unofficially) surpassed Robison, now 34, at this stage.
-- As much as we'd all like to see a guy named Chunky Clements make the 53-man, he's not likely to last in a group with this much depth. Johnson has the edge over Jones for now, but that battle seems to be ongoing.
-- Griffen and his $34 million in guaranteed money sit atop the depth chart, leaving Weatherly and Bower to battle behind him. Whichever player doesn't make the team is a strong practice squad candidate.
|Emmanuel Lamur/Edmond Robinson|
-- Who will replace Chad Greenway as the Vikings' third linebacker? That's still unclear. This remains one of the biggest position battles of the summer.
-- Gedeon played here in college, but most of the talk so far has focused on his reps at the weak-side position, where he has taken snaps with the first team.
-- Like former Vikings linebacker Audie Cole, Wilson could still make the roster as a special teamer. All eyes will be on Barr after he admitted to coasting through his unexceptional 2016 campaign.
-- This is Traes year. We likely wont see much of Newman -- who turns 39 in September -- in preseason, so if Waynes looks competent theres a good chance the job is his.
-- Alexander was a member of the disappointing 2016 rookie class. The former second-round pick needs to make significant improvement this season if he wants to be part of Zimmers top-tier defense for years to come.
-- Robert Blanton, Exum Jr., Harris and Taylor Mays have tried to swipe the starting safety spot away from Sendejo for the last three training camps. Sendejos biggest competition this year is Kearse, who looked shaky at best in his one start last season. Advantage: Sendejo.
|Antone Exum Jr.|
-- The biggest drop-off in talent on defense from starter to reserve is at free safety, where Harris sits behind two-time Pro Bowler Smith. Exum Jr. was hurtin a 2016 preseason game and spent all of last year on the injured reserve.
-- Jeff Locke left in free agency, leaving Minnesota with Quigley and Symmank to battle it out. Quigley, a five-year NFL veteran, has a leg up with a 44.6-yard career average per punt, compared to Symmanks 43.6 average in college.
-- Vikings fans are probably still happy to see Blair Walshs name off this list. Former Iowa kicker Koehn ran a 4.61 40-yard dash at the 2016 NFL combine, the fastest 40 by a placekicker or punter in over a decade. Impressive, but this battle will simply come down to who can make the most kicks (or 27-yard field goals).
-- Nothing to see here. McDermott is signed through the 2020 season and probably wont have much competition for the next few years.
-- This is one of the more intriguing battles to watch develop in the preseason. Sherels has returned 40 kickoffs in his NFL career with no touchdowns. Adams returned 44 kicks -- including one for a TD -- in three seasons for South Florida.
-- Sherels took two punts back for touchdowns last year, so the job is his. It will be fun to see Adams, Coley and Fruechte have a crack at it in the preseason.