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Depth Chart: An unofficial three-deep look at the Vikings’ offense, defense and special teams

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Training Camp
Jul 30, 2021; Eagan, MN, United States; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (84) celebrates with running back Dalvin Cook (33) at training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Watching the Vikings practice Saturday from the press box at U.S. Bank Stadium, presented an opportunity to put together an unofficial depth chart a week and three days into training camp. The Vikings should put out an official depth chart before next Saturday’s preseason opener against  Denver. For now, here’s a combination of projections and what I saw Saturday. (Keep in mind, this is inexact and there were players moving around.)

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins

Running back: Dalvin Cook

Wide receivers: Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen (Expected third WR is Dede Westbrook, who is recovering from an ACL injury.)

Tight end: Irv Smith Jr.

Fullback: C.J. Ham

Left tackle: Rashod Hill

Left guard: Ezra Cleveland

Center: Garrett Bradbury

Right guard: Oli Udoh and Dakota Dozier

Right tackle: Brian O’Neill

SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE

Quarterback: Jake Browning

Running back: Alexander Mattison

Wide receivers: K.J. Osborn, Chad Beebe or Ihmir Smith-Marsette (All three got time with the first-team Saturday with Jefferson, Thielen and Westbrook sitting out.)

Tight end: Tyler Conklin

Fullback: Jake Bargas

Left tackle: Blake Brandel

Left guard: Dru Samia

Center: Mason Cole

Right guard: Dakota Dozier or Oli Udoh

Right tackle: Evin Ksiezarczyk

THIRD-TEAM OFFENSE

Quarterback: Nate Stanley or Danny Etling (Kellen Mond likely would be in this spot but he’s on the COVID-19 reserve list.)

Running backs: Ameer Abdullah, Kene Nwangwu, A.J. Rose Jr.

Wide receivers: Dan Chisena, Whop Philyor, Blake Proehl

Tight ends: Brandon Dillon, Shane Zylstra, Zach Davidson

Left tackle: Evin Ksiezarczyk

Left guard: Kyle Hinton

Center: Cohl Cabral

Right guard: Wyatt Davis

Right tackle: Zack Bailey

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE

Left end: Danielle Hunter

Tackles: Michael Pierce, Dalvin Tomlinson

Right end: Stephen Weatherly

Linebackers: Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Nick Vigil (With Barr out, Ryan Connelly got work with this unit.)

Cornerbacks: Bashaud Breeland, Patrick Peterson (Mackensie Alexander plays inside in the nickel.)

Safeties: Harrison Smith and Xavier Woods

SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE

Left end: Jalyn Holmes

Tackles: Sheldon Richardson and James Lynch or Armon Watts

Right end: D.J. Wonnum

Linebackers: Blake Lynch, Cameron Smith, Troy Dye (Connelly would have replaced one of these three, if Barr had been practicing.)

Cornerbacks: Mackensie Alexander, Cameron Dantzler

Safeties: Myles Dorn, Camryn Bynum

THIRD-TEAM DEFENSE

Left end: Kenny Willekes

Tackles: Jordon Scott, James Lynch

Right end: Patrick Jones II

Linebackers: Christian Elliss, Tuf Borland, Chazz Surratt

Cornerbacks: Harrison Hand, Kris Boyd

Safeties: Josh Metellus, Luther Kirk

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kickers: Greg Joseph, Riley Patterson

Punter: Britton Colquitt

Long snappers: Andrew DePaola, Turner Bernard

Punt returns: K.J. Osborn, Ameer Abdullah, Ihmir Smith-Marsette (This should be Westbrook’s job once he is ready to go.)

Kickoff returns: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Ameer Abdullah (The only two players I saw return kicks.)

In fairness, this leaves a few players without spots on the depth chart. They might have rotated in and I just missed it. Here is who I don’t have listed: Cornerbacks Tye Smith, Amari Henderson, Dylan Mabin and Parry Nickerson. Defensive ends Hercules Mata’afa (injured in practice last week), Jordan Brailford and Janarius Robinson. Defensive tackle Zeandae Johnson. Offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (offseason surgery). Wide receiver Myron Mitchell (On the COVID-19 reserve list.)