While dates have oddly not been scheduled yet, the Minnesota Vikings training camp is about five weeks away.
With a new coaching staff, the Vikings will host summer battles to determine the identity of the 53-man roster and plot a course for the 2022 season. These are some of Minnesota’s most fascinating camp battles on the docket:
- QB2: Kellen Mond vs. Sean Mannion
- WR4: Ihmir Smith Marsette vs. Albert Wilson. vs. Jalen Nailor
- RG: Ed Ingram vs. Jesse Davis vs. Chris Reed
- FS: Lewis Cine vs. Camryn Bynum
But according to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings threeway cornerback battle is among the NFL’s biggest to monitor. PFF authored an article about the league’s best battles, and under the “alternative” section for CB bouts, the Vikings resided with Patrick Peterson vs. Cameron Dantzler vs. Andrew Booth.
Battle or not, all three men should receive significant playing time in 2022, especially because cornerbacks always seem to miss time to injury. Mike Zimmer can tell you all about it.
But the identity of Week 1 starters is apparently the intrigue for PFF. Peterson has the resume to shine above all, the owner of eight Pro Bowl honors and three 1st-Team All-Pro awards. However, Peterson will be 32 by the time the regular season starts, and a younger player could realistically steal his starting gig.
Dantzler, a 3rd-Round draft choice in 2020, is trending upward. After he exited a strange doghouse built by the aforementioned Zimmer in 2021, he excelled within the Vikings otherwise iffy defense — arguably enough to earn a starting job in 2022 beyond the shadow of a doubt. NFL.com even plopped Dantzler into a list of Top 10 coverage CBs recently, implying a starting assignment is an absolute no-brainer for 2022.
The wildcard is Andrew Booth. He possessed 1st-Round draft stock during the build-up to the 2022 NFL Draft but fell to Round 2 because of a sports hernia malady. After trades with the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers — controversial measures, to be sure — Booth was selected by Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to prepare for life after Peterson. Booth wasn’t an active participant at June’s minicamp, but he figures to vie for a job at training camp in July. To date, the Clemson alumnus is one of two rookies (plus Ed Ingram) not yet signed by the Vikings.
Overall, Peterson-Dantzler-Booth is a good problem for the Vikings to have. Before Peterson re-signed with the team, the Vikings CB battle was composed of names like Dantzler, Kris Boyd, Harrison Hand, and Tye Smith.
But now Minnesota has three viable starting options at CB1 and CB2.
The Vikings ranked 28th in passing yards allowed one year ago.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).