2021 Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart
|Quarterback||Kirk Cousins||Sean Mannion|
|Running Back||Dalvin Cook||Alexander Mattison||Mike Boone|
|Wide Receiver 1||Adam Thielen||Bisi Johnson||K.J. Osborn|
|Wide Receiver 2||Justin Jefferson||Tajae Sharpe|
|Wide Receiver 3||Chad Beebe|
|Tight End||Kyle Rudolph||Irv Smith||Tyler Conklin|
|Full Back||C.J. Ham|
|Left Tackle||Riley Reiff|
|Left Guard||Pat Elflein|
|Right Guard||Dru Samia||Dakota Dozier||Ezra Cleveland|
|Right Tackle||Brian O'Neill||Rashod Hill||Oli Udoh|
The Minnesota Vikings have completed their transformation at the quarterback position this off-season. The past two years their depth consisted of Sam Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater, and Case Keenum. All three players have a new home this season, but so does Kirk Cousins. Cousins came over from Washington after failing to sign his franchise tag offer sheet. Washington moved to Alex Smith, affording the Vikings the opportunity to build around a player who still has room for growth within an organization. The team was one win away from reaching the Super Bowl last season and they now have their set piece that will push them to top-level competition.
A second area that was to be addressed was the offensive line situation. Most of the players featured in starting roles have walked through a revolving door with the organization. The team has lacked a consistent and reliable talent pool to grab from, so free agency provided a great opportunity for the team to move some of their cap space. The team signed left tackle Riley Reiff to a larger contract, locking in their guy at the outside. Reiff has size, something the team lacked desperately the previous season. Tom Compton comes in at the guard position from Chicago. He will be slotted alongside Reiff, creating a strengthened right side of defense. These signings are a big boost to the prospect of Kirk Cousins within this offense. He had the protection in Washington, so acquiring it in Minnesota is key to his success. In Washington, Cousins dealt with a sub-par offense with limited threats. Moving into an offense with Adam Thielen and Stephon Diggs is already an improvement from past offensive sets Cousins has worked from. A reliable runner in Dalvin Cook is also promising for this offensive attack. The transition to a new organization is going to run smoothly and efficiently with these additions and pick-ups.
The defense even took their strides a step further with the signing of Sheldon Richardson. This Minnesota defense finished near the top of the league in all measurable categories. Placing Richardson at tackle opens lanes on the outside. Giving Everson Griffen more room to attack and read offenses will create for a scary pass and run-attack. The secondary returns all of its talents, with the most telling placement coming at the re-signing of Terrance Newman. Newman is 40 years old, but he provides the veteran leadership that holds this group together. He will be a prominent voice for newcomer, Mike Hughes. Hughes was drafted in the first-round. He comes from a smaller school at UCF, but that has not deterred from the production Hughes has shown. He will have to earn his spot within this defense but keeping a first-rounder as a back-up places any defense within a good spot. This defense is strong at all corners and ends, leaving little room for improvement. The team will feature the same consistencies that led to a great season the past year, which is something to be excited about with this roster make-up.
The wide receiver position also prevents the team with increased hopes. The team signed Kendall Wright this off-season. Wright has had up-and-down years sprinkled throughout his career, but he has never been placed within an offense that was heavy with talent. The prospect of a breakout year for him would be a great sign for the team. A second player with something to prove is Laquon Treadwell. Treadwell was drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, but has merely touched the field over his first two seasons. There are heavy amounts of talent that exist within Treadwell’s repertoire, but the team is still feeling around for them. He could be a standout player this season that creates yet another option for Cousins to work with. In a perfect world, Cousins has 4 different receivers that are capable of producing at a high level within this offense. This remains to be seen, but regular season action will help sort out any questions that remain. This team is solid and poised for a playoff return in 2020.