Vikings Offensive Depth Chart Pre-Draft

PHOTO: ELIZABETH FLORES – STAR TRIBUNE

Slowly, but surely, the Minnesota Vikings have been filling in their roster this offseason. Given the salary cap constraints they’re dealing with, it hasn’t been easy. Now, with a month remaining before the draft, they’ve at least addressed the biggest concerns on the team

Kwesi & Co extended Kirk Cousins and plugged holes throughout the defense. Do they have a depth problem throughout the roster? Yes. But the front office did find a way to sure up the defensive line and, after getting Patrick Peterson back under contract on Wednesday, the secondary might have a chance too.

You can read more on about the defensive depth chart HERE. Below is a look at where the Vikings offensive depth chart currently sits (with some help from ESPN) and where the front office might look to improve early in the draft.

Quarterback

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Sean Mannion
  3. Kellen Mond

The only interesting conversation at quarterback, beyond everyone’s obsession with Kirk Cousins, has to do with Kellen Mond. He was drafted in the 3rd round last year and there have been some reports that Rick Spielman going rogue on draft night to get it done. Since, he’s been completely forgotten by two different regimes. If Mond can’t beat Mannion out at Training Camp, do the Vikings dress three QB’s? Given Kirk’s ironman streak of health, that feels like a waste.

Running (Half) Back

  1. Dalvin Cook
  2. Alexander Mattison
  3. Kene Nwangwu
  4. AJ Rose Jr

We all know who the #1 running back is on this team but Dalvin Cook is getting older and more expensive with every year that goes by. Alexander Mattison is what he is, at this point. But Kene Nwangwu showed his intense level of skill in the kick return game, as a rookie. We’ll see what Kevin O’Connell’s offensive mind cooks up for Nwangwu. The talent is there if the Vikings new offensive guru can unlock it.

Fullback

  1. CJ Ham

Ham is one of the few fullbacks who remain in the NFL. Dalvin Cook loves him some good Ham and Kevin O’Connell claims he’s excited to use him, as well. We’ll see if that actually comes to fruition because the Vikings can save money by cutting CJ Ham and O’Connell isn’t known to run a 21-personell offense (two RBs). Under McVay, the Rams created one of the best offenses in the league using almost all 11 (one RB, one TE, three WR) or 10 (one RB, no TE, four WR) personnel.

Wide Receiver

  1. Justin Jefferson
  2. Adam Thielen
  3. KJ Osborn
  4. Ihmir Smith-Marsette
  5. Bisi Johnson

How good will Justin Jefferson — and the Vikings passing game, in general — be with an offensive-minded head coach? We’re about to find out. He and KJ Osborn blossomed under the Zimmer coaching regime and WR coach Keenan McCardell was one of the only coaches held over because of it. Still, the NFL world expects even more, with O’Connell steering the ship. I’d be surprised to see Kwesi & Co go WR in the first two days of next month’s draft, though anything is possible if they get good enough value.

Tight End

  1. Irv Smith Jr.
  2. Johnny Mundt
  3. Ben Ellefson

Tyler Conklin left in free agency so the Vikings will rely on Irv Smith Jr returning to full health and contributing heavily in the passing game. He was ascending as a guy Kirk Cousins was looking to on a regular basis last preseason, before he was injured and ruled out for the year. The Vikings will take it slow with him this offseason. Mundt and Ellefson total 11 receptions and 18 targets in their combined 7 years of NFL experience.

Offensive Line

  • LT: Christian Darrisaw — Blake Brandel
  • LG: Ezra Cleveland — Chris Reed OR Wyatt Davis OR Oli Udoh
  • C: Garrett Bradbury — Austin Schlottmann
  • RG: Chris Reed OR Jesse Davis OR Oli Udoh OR Wyatt Davis
  • RT: Brian O’Neill — Timon Parris

There is still plenty for the to worry about on the Minnesota Vikings depth chart at offensive line. It’s probably sad, in fact, that I’m somehow relieved at only having two huge concerns. Right guard could be a dumpster fire. Wyatt Davis was supposed to be the answer, when he was drafted in the 3rd round of last year’s draft, but he struggled to even dress on game days for most of the season.

Now, due to cap constraints, the only improvement Kwesi could dig up was Jesse Davis, who graded (PFF) as the worst offensive lineman on the league’s worst offensive line (Dophins) during 2021. Can J. Davis improve with a move back to the inside? Is W. Davis still alive? God, I hope so.

Update: The Vikings signed former Minnesota State – Mankato Maverick, Chris Reed, to compete for the open right guard position. Read more about him HERE. He’s the favorite to start.

Center position is the other cause for concern on the O-line. Well, for those of us who have watched Garrett Bradbury play for the last few years, since being picked in the first round of the 2018 draft. But Kevin O’Connell has repeatedly vowed his love for Bradbury, making it clear he will be the guy come August/September.

Draft Targets

On offense, the only first round targets I really see Minnesota honing in on, is the interior offensive line, especially if Tyler Lindenbaum (Iowa) falls to them. I’d be shocked to see them go anywhere else at #12, on the offensive side of the ball.

But that won’t be the case on defense, where Kwesi & Co have plenty of positions they’ll be looking to improve immediately. The defensive side of this depth chart blog will come out tonight.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan