The Minnesota Vikings depth chart is evidently all sewn up.
The team’s training camp opens on July 24th, with rookies reporting to Eagan. Veterans join two days later, and fans are welcome on July 30th.
And according to Football Outsiders, an NFL-themed site, the Vikings have no training camp battles to monitor. It’s all decided. Before opining on training camp, Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders mocked Minnesota’s 2022 offense for a pivot to more passing. The Vikings ended the Mike Zimmer era in January, a period of eight years of the team embracing run-first operations. Under Kevin O’Connell, the Vikings are forecasted to throw the football more. To that, Tanier asserted, “That means more Kirk Cousins! Oh goody gumdrops!”
Tanier’s article previewed all NFC North teams in 2022, and on the Vikings prospective training camp battles, he said, “The Vikings don’t really have camp battles. When an aging veteran’s contract is about to expire, they either replace him with another aging veteran or extend his contract.”
Minnesota was the only team in the NFC North, per Tanier, sans camp battles.
He did follow up the announcement with a caveat on the right guard spot. The Vikings have struggled for a few years to seal the deal at RG, and onboarded three potential solutions this offseason, thanks to new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. Tanier mentioned about the right guard position, “Right guard may be the most important job up for grabs: second-round pick Ed Ingram (LSU) was drafted to start, but journeyman Wyatt Davis and 2021 third-round pick Jesse Davis are also in the mix.”
Tanier inadvertenly transposed the identities of the Davises — Wyatt Davis is a 2021 3rd-Rounder, whereas Jesse Davis is the “journeyman.” And the journeyman adjective should be used loosely as Jesse Davis played for one team, the Miami Dolphins, before joining the Vikings.
Chris Reed, a free-agent guard from the Indianapolis Colts, was also signed in March to compete for the spot. He has a likelier chance of winning the job than Wyatt Davis, who Tanier mentioned.
Moreover, the Vikings do have more camp battles in addition to RG. The starting cornerbacks jobs are up for grabs between incumbents Patrick Peterson and Cameron Dantzler — with rookies Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans in the mix. Booth was forecasted by some as a 1st-Round draft pick but fell to the 2nd Round due to injury concerns.
The QB2 job is also undecided. Veteran Sean Mannion filled the role in 2021, with Kellen Mond aspiring to scale the depth chart. Mond was not valuable commodity to the old coaching staff, seemingly benched out of spite. Yet, in 2022, Mond should get a fair shake to usurp Mannion.
Finally, the safety position isn’t a done deal. Lewis Cine was drafted to lock down the free safety gig for the future, but Camryn Bynum authored an impressive rookie showing in 2021. It wouldn’t be wildly shocking for Bynum to start in September while Cine acclimates to the NFL.
The 2022 edition of Vikings training camp will mark the franchise’s fifth in Eagan. Minnesota previously held camp in Mankato.
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).