It has been exactly two months since we took our first crack at projecting the Vikings depth charts (offense here and defense here). Since then, there was something called the draft, adding eight picks to the roster and a handful of undrafted rookie free agents. So with the third phase of the offseason workout program, which actually resembles real football, set to begin Tuesday we will update our projected depth chart with the newcomers.
- Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill, Taylor Heinicke, Joel Stave
Comments: Barring a major upset, Hill will be Bridgewater’s top backup again and Heinicke must out-throw Stave to remain the No. 3 QB.
- Running back: Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata
- Fullback: Zach Line, Blake Renaud
Comments: Peterson and McKinnon form a fine 1-2 punch. Asiata is back on a one-year deal and will have to fend off rookie free agents Jhurell Pressley and C.J. Ham if the Vikings keep three running backs again. Line is the incumbent at fullback but Renaud is a cheaper option.
- Split end: Laquon Treadwell, Charles Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson
- Flanker: Stefon Diggs, Terrell Sinkfield, Moritz Bohringer
- Slot receiver: Jarius Wright, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen
Comments: Treadwell might not line up with the first-team offense right out of the gate, but it shouldn’t be long until the top pick is running with the starters exclusively. Diggs, who played split end last year, shifts over to flanker and could see snaps out of the slot, too. Bohringer will have to climb the depth chart as he transitions to legitimate professional football. The additions of Treadwell and Bohringer should threaten Johnson most. Unlike Patterson, he does not play on special teams and was a healthy scratch late in 2015.
- Tight end: Kyle Rudolph, MyCole Pruitt, Rhett Ellison, David Morgan
Comments: Rudolph and Pruitt are locks to make the team and will both have significant pass-catching roles this season. The intrigue will be at the blocking tight end position, where Morgan, a sixth-round pick, seems poised to push Ellison, who is still recovering from a major knee injury. Veteran addition Brian Leonhardt would also like to get into the mix there.
- Left tackle: Matt Kalil, T.J. Clemmings, Carter Bykowski
- Left guard: Alex Boone, Willie Beavers, Zac Kerin
- Center: John Sullivan, Joe Berger, Nick Easton
- Right guard: Brandon Fusco, Mike Harris, Jeremiah Sirles
- Right tackle: Andre Smith, Phil Loadholt, Austin Shepherd
Comments: Clemmings has switched sides, moving over to left tackle with the likely intention of him being the team’s swing tackle this season. It seems improbable that he will overtake Kalil, who is in the final year of his rookie contract. Beavers, a fourth-round pick, will require some polishing as he moves inside to guard, but with veterans Boone, Fusco and Harris on the roster there is no need to rush him. The battles at center, right guard and right tackle should make for great theater over the next three months, especially in training camp when the pads come on. For now, we’ll follow the money and give Sullivan, Fusco and Smith the early nod at their respective positions.