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Minnesota Vikings release first unofficial depth chart

Quarterbacks

Starter: Kirk Cousins

Backups: Kellen Mond OR Sean Mannion

Running backs

Starter: Dalvin Cook

Backups: Alexander Mattison; Kene Nwangwu; Ty Chandler; Bryant Koback

Fullbacks

Starter: C.J. Ham

Backup: Jake Bargas

Wide receiver

Starters: Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson

Backups: K.J. Osborn and Ihmir Smith-Marsette; Bisi Johnson and Myron Mitchell; Trishton Jackson OR Jalen Nailor and Dan Chisena; Albert Wilson; Thomas Hennigan and Blake Proehl (Proehl is on the Active/PUP list)

Tight ends

Starter: Irv Smith, Jr.

Backups: Johnny Mundt; Ben Ellefson; Zach Davidson; Nick Muse; Shaun Beyer

Tackles

Starters: Christian Darrisaw (LT) and Brian O’Neill (RT)

Backups: Blake Brandel (LT) and Olisaemeka Udoh (RT); Vederian Lowe (LT) and Timon Parris (RT)

Interior offensive linemen

Starters: Ezra Cleveland (LG), Garrett Bradbury (C) and Jesse Davis (RG)

Backups: Chris Reed (LG), Austin Schlottmann (C) and Ed Ingram (RG); Kyle Hinton (LG), Josh Sokol (C) and Wyatt Davis (RG)

Roster notes: Cousins and the first-team skill players have not changed from Week 1 of the 2021 season. Darrisaw was not listed with the 1s at this point a year ago, but he’s cemented himself in the starting left tackle role. Cleveland and O’Neill played every offensive snap last season at their respective positions. Right guard is potentially the only new starter, with the veteran newcomer Jesse Davis currently listed ahead of Ingram, a second-round pick this spring. Irv Smith, Jr., is hoping to return by Week 1 of the regular season.


DEFENSE (43 players listed as they appear on the unofficial depth chart)

Defensive ends

Starters: Dalvin Tomlinson and Armon Watts

Backups: Jonathan Bullard and James Lynch; Jaylen Twyman and Esezi Otomewo; Jullian Taylor

Nose tackles

Starter: Harrison Phillips

Backups: T.J. Smith; T.Y. McGill, Jr.; Tyarise Stevenson

Outside Linebackers

Starters: Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith

Backups: Pat Jones II and D.J. Wonnum; Luiji Vilain and Janarius Robinson; Andre Mintze and Zach McCloud

Inside Linebackers

Starters: Eric Kendricks (MLB) and Jordan Hicks (WLB)

Backups: Troy Dye (MLB) and Brian Asamoah II (WLB); Chazz Surratt (MLB) and Blake Lynch (WLB); Ryan Connelly (MLB — on Active/PUP list) and William Kwenkeu (WLB)

Cornerbacks

Starters: Patrick Peterson and Cameron Dantzler, Sr.

Backups: Chandon Sullivan and Andrew Booth, Jr.; Kris Boyd and Akayleb Evans; Parry Nickerson and Harrison Hand; Nate Hairston and Tye Smith

Safety

Starters: Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum

Backups: Lewis Cine and Josh Metellus; Myles Dorn and Mike Brown

Roster notes: In contrast to the continuity on offense, the defense has undergone a significant overhaul in scheme and personnel. Minnesota is pivoting to a 3-4 base under new Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell. The Vikings have five players who started the 2021 season opener listed among the 11 first-teamers on defense (Tomlinson, Hunter, Kendricks, Peterson and Harrison Smith). The Vikings have strengthened their defensive core with the additions of Phillips and Hicks among the front seven and bolstered their pass rush with the signing of Za’Darius Smith. Bynum and Dantzler have turned in some nice moments at training camp while working ahead of Minnesota’s first two picks of 2022 (Cine and Booth).

Kicker

Starter: Greg Joseph

Punters/holders

Starter: Jordan Berry

Backup: Ryan Wright

Long snapper

Starter: Andrew DePaola

Kickoff returners

Starter: Nwangwu

Backup: Osborn; Chandler

Punt returners

Starter: Smith-Marsette

Backup: Nailor

Roster notes: Joseph has continued his torrid kicking during team drills at training camp. Berry joined Minnesota just before the start of the 2021 season. He is competing with the undrafted rookie, Wright. DePaola has been on-point. Nwangwu showed so much so quickly as a kickoff returner during his rookie season. The Vikings hope to get more out of the punt return game this season, potentially

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