November 29, 2022

GridIron365

Let's Get It!

Prime Position Battles as Vikings Training Camp Opens

3 min read



There’s even a possibility that the two split reps this season in a de-facto rotation.

Whatever happens, the Vikings secondary will certainly be better for it.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is fond of saying that you can never have enough cornerbacks. Teams need a minimum of three solid cornerbacks to help slow down opposing offenses. Having four at that spot is just a bonus.

If Minnesota’s cornerbacks can play at the level we’re used to seeing from that group in recent years, that should help the Vikings pass rush potential, too.

And help the Vikings defense earn back some respect after a disappointing 2020 season.

Maybe this is surprising after last season, but one of the areas I’m most excited about seeing this season is the defensive line. I couldn’t be happier to see Danielle Hunter back and with Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson in the middle. It’s going to be a beast for any offense to deal with. What do you think the opposite end position will look like this year? Stephen Weatherly is there, of course, but from what I’ve heard the rookies are making a good impression. And D.J. Wonnum can’t be forgotten after making great strides last year.

— Andrew from Australiia

You aren’t alone, Andrew. And thanks to you, too, for the Vikings support from across the globe.

Much like the cornerbacks above, I expect a bounce back from the defensive line as well in 2021.

Hunter has been covered before, including in last week’s Mailbag, when I noted his 2020 absence was one of the biggest factors in a down year. So, his return and expected health will be a massive boost to the line.

Pierce and Tomlinson, too, will also be welcome additions up front. The Vikings run defense was porous in 2020, and those two rather large men will help. So, too, will Sheldon Richardson, most notably on pass-rushing downs.

As for the other starting defensive end spot, my best guess is that Weatherly will open camp as the starter. But, much like I note above, Wonnum could certainly earn the chance to be heavily involved in the rotation, if not win the starting job outright.

Wonnum clearly progressed as 2020 went along, and he’ll need to keep going to continue his development.

I don’t know if you’d call this a luxury or not, but the Vikings likely will be able to bring Patrick Jones II and Janarius Robinson along at their own paces as rookies. Neither will be expected to start, but both could see time in certain down and distances if they show enough in camp and the preseason.

With Andre Patterson still in charge of the defensive line and a unit that is stacked with veterans, this group should make like difficult for opposing offenses in 2021.

https://www.vikings.com/news/position-battles-2021-training-camp-opens

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