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Minnesota Vikings Roster Breakdown in 2020

| September 3, 2020 6:18 am PDT
Minnesota Vikings Depth Charts

The Minnesota Vikings shocked the NFL world when they upset the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs last year. They kept the surprises coming when they shipped star wide receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo in a trade.

Their offseason of change continued with a total overhaul in their defensive backfield. Pass rusher Everson Griffen was also not brought back, while the team has been reluctant to give into running back Dalvin Cook’s contract demands.

Minnesota already looks a lot different this year than they did a few months ago.

Could the changes to the Minnesota Vikings’ depth charts impact how bettors view them? It’s entirely possible, and it’s worth inspecting their roster further before finalizing any Vikings-related wagers in 2020.

Note: Starters are bolded

Vikings Quarterback Depth Chart

Kirk Cousins
Sean Mannion
Nate Stanley
Jake Browning

Cousins finally got the monkey off his back in 2019, as he came up big in the clutch and won his first playoff game. He’s not exactly elite, but Cousins is rock solid and is not the reason Minnesota hasn’t gone the distance.

The Vikings don’t have anything behind him, though. Sean Mannion is a solid backup, but if Cousins gets hurt, Minnesota is in serious trouble.

Vikings Running Back Depth Chart

Dalvin Cook
Alexander Mattison
Michael Boone
Ameer Abdullah
Tony Brooks-James
CJ Ham
Jake Bargas

Cook is presently holding out, which is probably a good business decision for a guy who has missed 19 games in his three-year career. When healthy and active, though, Cook is one of the best running backs in the NFL.

Minnesota may not be in a frenzy to pay Cook, of course. His injury history is cause for pause, and the team has two very appealing backups behind him in Mattison and Boone.

Even Abdullah can take over in a pinch, leaving the Vikes with one of the deepest backfields in the league.

Vikings Wide Receiver Depth Chart

Adam Thielen
Justin Jefferson
Tajae Sharpe
Olabisi Johnson
KJ Osborn
Chad Beebe
Alexander Hollins
Dillon Mitchell
Davion Davis
Quartney Davis
Dan Chisena

The exit of Diggs is a bummer, as he really gave Minnesota a scary one-two punch in the passing game. The torch officially passes to Thielen, who is a big-play artist but will now be the team’s true #1 target.

Thielen is a stud, but he’ll get a little help with incoming rookie Justin Jefferson and recently signed Tajae Sharpe coming to town. There is major potential for decline in this passing game, however, as nobody outside of Thielen is sure to match what Diggs brought to the table.

Vikings Tight End Depth Chart

Kyle Rudolph
Irv Smith Jr.
Tyler Conklin
Brandon Dillon
Nakia Griffin-Stewart

One reason the Vikings probably felt comfortable with trading away Stefon Diggs was the presence of two tight ends who belong on the field.

Rudolph just signed a new deal and is here for the long haul, but second-year tight end Irv Smith has earned a bigger role. They form one of the better tight end tandems in the league.

Vikings Offensive Line Depth Chart

Position Starter Backup Third String Fourth String
Left Tackle Riley Reiff Ezra Cleveland    
Left Guard Pat Elfein Aviante Collins Tyler Higby  
Center Garrett Bradbury Brett Jones Jake Lacina  
Right Guard Dakota Dozier Dru Samia Kyle Hinton Brady Aiello
Right Tackle Brian O’Neill Rashod Hill Olisaemeka Udoh Blake Brandel

The Vikings have an improving offensive line, and it’s done a good job in protecting Kirk Cousins and clearing running lanes for Cook. From an overall talent and consistency perspective, however, it’s under-performed.

The team at least retains continuity on the o-line for the most part, although it’s unclear if Josh Kline will be brought back. There is potential with this unit, and their marks from 2019 aren’t bad as a whole, but individually, they leave you wanting.

Vikings Defensive Line Depth Chart

Defensive End Defensive Tackle
Danielle Hunter Michael Pierce
Ifeadi Odenigbo Shamar Stephen
Eddie Yarbrough Jaleel Johnson
Anthony Zettel Jalyn Holmes
DJ Wonnum Armon Watts
Hercules Mata’afa Kenny Willekes
  David Moa
  James Lynch

Minnesota has always been strong on defense under Mike Zimmer, and a big reason for their success is nastiness up front.

The Vikings are so blessed on the defensive line that they currently see no need to bring back Everson Griffen, which is saying something for a guy that had eight sacks a year ago.

Hunter and Odenigbo made him expendable, while the middle of the line is anchored by run-stuffing savant Michael Pierce.

Vikings Linebacker Depth Chart

SLB MLB WLB
Anthony Barr Eric Kendricks Eric Wilson
DeMarquis Gates Cameron Smith Ben Gedeon
Blake Lynch Jordan Fehr Troy Dye

The Vikings are also very strong at linebacker, as the active Anthony Barr can make plays all over the field, and Eric Kendricks safely mans the middle.

Wilson has been a solid rotational player that may end up sticking as a starter, and Ben Gedeon is a solid bench body. Overall, this isn’t a group that will hurt the Vikings if it can stay healthy.

Vikings Cornerback Depth Chart

Mike Hughes
Jeff Gladney
Cameron Dantzler
Holton Hill
Kris Boyd
Harrison Hand
Mark Fields
Nate Meadors
Kemon Hall
Marcus Sayles
Nevelle Clarke

Minnesota had some major issues in their defensive backfield in 2019, which led to a total makeover on this depth chart.

Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander left for Cincinnati, while Xavier Rhodes was also jettisoned in the offseason. That elevates Mike Hughes into a big role, while rookies Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler will hope to carve out spots going into week one.

There is potential with this group hitting the reset button, but it could also be a very volatile unit.

Vikings Safety Depth Chart

Harrison Smith
Anthony Harris
Brian Cole II
Josh Metellus
Myles Dorn

One area the Vikes should be great in is safety, where Harrison Smith returned to elite status as a sure tackler and playmaker. He’s 31 now and could hit a wall, but for the moment, he’s arguably the top safety in the NFL.

He’ll team up with Anthony Harris, who was a total stud in 2019 and figures to be in the franchise’s long-term plans.

The Vikings don’t have much beyond their starters, but this tandem gives them one of the best safety groups in pro football.

Vikings Special Teams Depth Chart

Kicker Punter Long Snapper Holder Punter Returner Punter Returner
Dan Bailey Britton Colquitt Austin Cutting Britton Colquitt Ameer Abdullah Ameer Abdullah

Minnesota looks good on special teams, as Dan Bailey has corrected a problem area for the team at kicker. The 32-year-old knocked in 93% of his field goal tries last year and should be a steady presence again in 2020.

Colquitt stayed with Minnesota on a recent three-year deal and has been extremely reliable, ranking inside the top 10 in net yards per attempt in 2019.

Ameer Abdullah hasn’t done much as a running back in his time in the NFL, but he offers upside as a return man. It’s unclear if he’ll be the guy for punt returns, but he produced 25 yards per return on kickoffs in 2019 and could see work there more in 2020.

Vikings Roster Analysis

  • Grade: B+

Minnesota has a very good roster from top to bottom. Losing Diggs hurts their passing game temporarily, but they have a superstar receiver, a great first-round pick at the position, and two useful tight ends.

Cook holding out is a bummer, but the Vikes appear to be set on the ground, regardless of what happens with their top rusher.

Defensively, Minnesota is still loaded up front, is blessed with two terrific safeties, and also has a fine linebacking corps. They’re very young at cornerback now, but perhaps that’ll end up being a good thing.

Betting on the Minnesota Vikings in 2020

You can freely bet on the Vikings this year, as they’re a threat to make the playoffs and/or chase for the NFC North crown. I don’t personally have them making the playoffs due to the roster turnover, but they’re still good enough to prove me wrong.

Once in, Minnesota does have the foundation of a title contender. I wouldn’t bet on it, but the Vikings are on the table in every way for bettors this year.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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