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Must-Watch Camp Battles for Vikings Offense


Vikings Rookie WR Could Be Team's Punt Returner
Dec 30, 2021; Atlanta, GA, USA; Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Jalen Nailor. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

The time has finally come. The Vikings Training Camp is upon us, and the preseason is right around the corner. As players report to camp, let’s look at some must-watch offensive camp battles.

With training camp about to begin, big decisions are about to be made. The Vikings’ new coaching staff will be looking to improve the offense from a mid-tier team to a top-10 team.

The Vikings are in an exciting position offensively. They do not have any significant holes or concerns other than the offensive line. Thankfully, they have made some investments into the offensive line this offseason.

However, there are still some concerns about the offensive line. Some of the questions that remain to be answered are:

  1. Can Christian Darrisaw make the jump and become a stud at left tackle?
  2. Will Garrett Bradbury’s added weight help him against bigger defensive tackles?
  3. Who will win the right guard battle?

Vikings’ Offensive Line Will be Crucial

Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury. Green Bay, Wis. Wm. Glasheen USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin.

The most important thing for the Vikings this season is to have a quality right guard. This position and Garrett Bradbury have been the downfall of the offense the last couple of years. Therefore, this will be the most crucial of all the camp battles.

Currently, the Vikings have four players who are realistically battling for the right guard position. The battle between Jesse Davis, Chris Reed, Ed Ingram, and Wyatt Davis will be fun to watch. At the end of training camp, only 3 of them will likely be on the roster.

Ed Ingram is the most likely candidate to win the right guard spot. He is an excellent pass blocker with a strong one-arm punch and an excellent anchor. However, he is a rookie.

Therefore, his chances of winning the starting job will come down to one question. Can he learn all the terminology and plays? If the answer is yes, he will run away with the job. Either way, Ingram will be the starting right guard at some point before the end of the season.

On the other hand, Wyatt Davis might not even make the team. He had a lot of hype around him early in the draft process in 2021 and was eventually selected in the third round. However, Chris Reed and Jesse Davis are proven veterans in the league.

Do not be surprised if Davis doesn’t make the 53-man roster. Even politics comes with third-round selections.

Depth Chart Battles to Watch

It's Been a Good Week for Kellen Mond
Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kellen Mond. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

Outside of the offensive line, there are no questions about starting roles. Although, there will be battles towards the bottom of the depth chart. One of the most important for the future is the quarterback position.

Kellen Mond struggled immensely in the preseason last year. Sure, Zimmer probably hated and never really gave him a chance. However, Mond struggled with accuracy, which is absolutely critical in the NFL.

Thankfully for Vikings fans, KOC said that Mond was doing great in the mini-camps, and they were working on his mechanics. If Mond’s mechanics can be rebuilt, there is a good chance his accuracy will improve as well. We will see how this plays out in training camp and the preseason, but an improvement in accuracy should secure him as the backup quarterback.

The wide receiver room has a clear-cut top-3 group. After Jefferson, Thielen, and Osborn, things get interesting. The decision on which players to keep will come down to who can emerge as a WR3 and who can play special teams. After those considerations, here is who will round out the group:

  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette
  • Jalen Nailor
  • Dan Chisena

I am sure some people will be upset that Bisi Johnson and Albert Wilson didn’t make the list. However, it seems that ISM is better than Bisi, and it is truly a toss-up between Wilson and Nailor as either one of them can win the punt returner job.

Regardless of how this all shakes out, one thing is for sure. Us fans are all excited to get this season started.

Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3

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