Training camp is just around the corner starting for all players on July 28th. So lets take a look at the Top 5 position battles for the Minnesota Vikings training camp this year.
1. Cornerback- This may be one of the fiercest position battles in any NFL training camp this year. With allot of new faces including some promising rookies, the Vikings coaching staff will have to make some pretty tough decisions on who they want for their starting roles. For the starting corner spots, you have players such as Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, Jeff Gladney, Cameron Dantzler, and Kris Boyd all trying to fill the big need in the backfield. Mike Zimmer is known for his expertise in this position and will get these young players up to par by the start of the season. We will see who will fill each spot this year, but my guess would be Holton Hill and Jeff Gladney on both ends of the field with Mike Hughes playing inside technique where he has had allot of success in so far when healthy.
2. Defensive End- If your a Vikings fan, we all know we have one of or the most talented defensive ends in the game with Danielle Hunter. What we don’t know is who will start on the other side of the elite pass rusher? The favorite right now would have to be Ifeadi Odenigbo, who played well coming in for Everson Griffin last year with his knee injury. D.J. Wonnum could potentially fit the bill here as well with his promising raw talent, but we will have to see how far he progresses throughout camp. Co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Andre Patterson see’s similar characteristics of Danielle Hunter in Wonnum, and I’m sure he is excited to coach the young prospect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN-vpDIbWoc
3. Interior Line- So far the favorites would have to be Pat Elflein and Dakota Dozier for the starting roles in the interior line positions. But, with the lack of talent here there has been rumors with Riley Reiff moving into the middle and filling the much needed help at guard. That would also make sense because it would give the 2nd round prospect Ezra Cleveland a chance to start right away at left tackle or potentially move him at guard if Reiff stays at the tackle position. Brett Jones would also be a candidate to move to the guard position as well. Having such a big hole to fill at guard, there’s even a chance for players like Dru Samia, Kyle Hinton, and Tyler Higby to make a case for the starting position this year.
4. Outside Linebacker- You have a lock with Anthony Barr on the one side, but who will step up on the other side for outside linebacker? Eric Wilson and Ben Gedeon Shared starting roles at this position and I think this will either end up happening again or Wilson wins the job. If they do end up spiting playing time, Coach Zimmer will utilize both of them based on their athletic abilities in his scheme. Also, will we see if Cameron Smith can make a leap this year and become a solid depth player at this role after having a very successful career at linebacker for USC two years ago? Allot of question marks for the starting role here, we will see how this unfolds.
5. Wide Receiver- Veteran Adam Thielen and wide receivers coach Andrew Janocko have allot of work cutout for them this year coaching up some unfamiliar faces. With Thielen locked in at one, you’ll see these other starting roles filled with first round pick Justin Jefferson and Tajae Sharpe as the leading contenders for the starting positions. But, you never know what can happen when walk-ons like Thielen blow up the scene at camp. Players such as Bisi Johnson, Chad Beebe, Dillon Mitchell, and Rookie K.J. Osborn will also be fighting for that fourth wide receiver position and the remaining spots on the Vikings roster.
Please tell us who you think will standout this year for the Vikings training camp? Who do you feel we left out and why? Please like us on Facebook:(https://www.facebook.com/CraigTShea2) and comment on what position battles your most excited to see happen in Minnesota this year.
Thanks for reading.