Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Projecting the Vikings' current two-deep depth chart

Posted by: Matt Vensel under Vikings, Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Chad Greenway, John Sullivan, Phil Loadholt Updated: August 4, 2014 - 2:30 PM

Head coach Mike Zimmer maintained throughout the spring and into the summer that he had no depth chart and that he wanted to evaluate his players before worrying about where they stand.

Nearly two weeks into training camp, and four days before the Vikings have actually played a preseason game, that process is still ongoing, making the task of attempting to project Zimmer’s two-deep depth chart a foolish endeavor. But what the heck, I’m going to try it anyway.

To be clear, this projected two-deep depth chart is my best guesstimate -- not Zimmer's -- and I've based it on what we have seen up here in Mankato since the Vikings reported. And keep in mind that Zimmer, General Manager Rick Spielman and the scouting staff will continue to keep an eye on other teams for trade opportunities and preseason roster cuts. There is a chance the Vikings end up starting someone who isn’t even on the roster. But for now, we’ll base it on who’s here.

QUARTERBACK: 1. Matt Cassel. 2. Teddy Bridgewater.

RUNNING BACK: 1. Adrian Peterson. 2. Matt Asiata.

FULLBACK: 1. Jerome Felton. 2. Zach Line.

WIDE RECEIVER: 1. Cordarrelle Patterson. 2. Rodney Smith.

WIDE RECEIVER: 1. Greg Jennings. 2. Adam Thielen.

WIDE RECEIVER: 1. Jerome Simpson. 2. Jarius Wright.

TIGHT END: 1. Kyle Rudolph. 2. Rhett Ellison.

LEFT TACKLE: 1. Matt Kalil. 2. Antonio Richardson.

LEFT GUARD: 1. Charlie Johnson. 2. David Yankey.

CENTER: 1. John Sullivan. 2. Joe Berger.

RIGHT GUARD: 1. Brandon Fusco. 2. Vlad Ducasse.

RIGHT TACKLE: 1. Phil Loadholt. 2. Mike Remmers.

Notes: Asiata gets the edge over rookie Jerick McKinnon for now, but McKinnon has lately been the preferred third-down replacement for Peterson. … Chase Ford might have entered camp as the favorite to back up Rudolph at tight end, but he is sidelined indefinitely with a fractured foot. Either way, though, he and Ellison have different but useful skill sets. … Barring an upset or an injury, it appears the Vikings already have their starting five offensive linemen set in stone, at least for the season opener. … Kevin Murphy has also seen snaps at right tackle behind Loadholt.

LEFT DEFENSIVE END: 1. Brian Robison. 2. Corey Wootton.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: 1. Sharrif Floyd. 2. Tom Johnson.

NOSE TACKLE: 1. Linval Joseph. 2. Fred Evans.

RIGHT DEFENSIVE END: 1. Everson Griffen. 2. Scott Crichton.                                            

STRONG-SIDE LINEBACKER: 1. Anthony Barr. 2. Audie Cole.

MIDDLE LINEBACKER: 1. Jasper Brinkley. 2. Michael Mauti.

WEAK-SIDE LINEBACKER: 1. Chad Greenway. 2. Brandon Watts.

LEFT CORNERBACK: 1. Josh Robinson. 2. Marcus Sherels.

NICKEL CORNERBACK: 1. Captain Munnerlyn. 2. Jabari Price.

RIGHT CORNERBACK: 1. Xavier Rhodes. 2. Derek Cox.

FREE SAFETY: 1. Robert Blanton. 2. Kurt Coleman.

STRONG SAFETY: 1. Harrison Smith. 2. Jamarca Sanford.

Notes: Rookie Shamar Stephen could push the veteran Evans to be the primary backup at nose tackle to Joseph. … Determining where the linebackers slot proved to be a challenge as the coaching staff has been shuffling them to see where each fits best. … Brinkley is the frontrunner to start at middle linebacker in the base defense, but he might not sniff the field when opponents use more than two wide receivers at once. … The Vikings have been using Sherels, the scrappy cornerback, with the starting defense in Robinson’s absence. … Blanton needs to get back from his hamstring injury soon to stay atop the depth chart. … The safety spots could be interchangeable.

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