The Vikings first depth chart of the 2013 season, released yesterday at Vikings.com, features few surprises and is pretty much what most expected.
January 20-25 - Senior Bowl
January 26 - Pro Bowl
February 17 - First day of franchise / transition player designation
February 19-25 - Scouting Combine
March 11 - Free Agency begins
March 23 - Owner's Meeting
April 7 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with new HC
April 17 - 2014 Schedule Released
April 21 - Off-season workouts begin for teams with returning HC
May 2 - Deadline for RFAs to sign offers
May 8-10 - NFL Draft
Headed into the 2013 NFL Draft, it was obvious the Vikings needed to address their secondary. The loss of veteran cornerback and expert tackler Antoine Winfield left a gaping hole at the position and, in the eyes of many, skyrocketed the position into the primary need of the offseason. The most veteran player at the position now is Chris Cook who himself is quite inexperienced and only has started in 18 games since he was drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft.
The Vikings choose to draft Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes in the first round of this year’s draft. Xavier Rhodes is a big frame corner who excels at press coverage. In the NFC North where we have to deal with the likes of Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall, Rhodes will be critical to the success of the Vikings secondary.
Josh Robinson will likely attempt to move inside and replace Antoine Winfield in covering the slot. Robinson performed well in his 2012 rookie season despite a few missteps here and there. The speedster out of Central Florida had a combined 55 tackles and two interceptions in his rookie campaign. Not bad when compared to Chris Cook’s line of 35 combined tackles and zero interceptions. (Although, Cook only played in 10 games last season to Robinson’s full 16.)
The Vikings were able to land A.J. Jefferson from the Arizona Cardinals before the 2012 season for close to nothing and it’s safe to say that they got a decent return on their investment. Jefferson, not a shut down corner by any means, was able to hold his own for the most part and is a young player who should continue to get better.
Jacob Lacey was an offseason acquisition who has previously played with the Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts. While he hasn’t had a stand out career, Lacey does have more experience than some of the other corners currently on the roster.
Marcus Sherels and Brandon Burton round out the bottom of the depth chart. Burton and Sherels, both in their third season, will likely not see a whole lot of action but will fill in when needed.
While it is no surprise that Brian Robison and his sprained shoulder will not be active against Houston today, and Everson Griffen will get his first career start, it is somewhat of a surprise who will be backing up Griffen.
D’Aundre Reed has been inactive the last few weeks and that is going to continue for another week. Instead, George Johnson will be on the active roster, despite being activated from the practice squad just yesterday.
In addition to Robison and Reed, here are the rest of the Vikings inactives: QB Bethel-Thompson, WR Burton, CB Burton, LB Cole, and OT Kropog.
The very healthy Texans have no surprises in their inactives with cornerback Alan Ball being the most notable of the bunch.
As much as I was hoping to host a live chat today, it unfortunately just isn’t in the works. Instead, I’ve created this post as an “open forum” in the comments section. I’ll do my best to check in and leave a few comments myself.
Here are the inactives for today’s matchup:
Vikings: QB Bethel-Thompson, CB Burton, LB Cole, OL Kropog, OL Asper, TE Reisner, and DE Reed.
Bears: LB Urlacher, CB Jennings, WR Bennett, QB McCown, WR Sanzenbacher, OL Spencer, and DT Paea.
The inactives are in for today’s matchup in Green Bay:
VIKINGS: WR Harvin, QB Bethel-Thompson, CB Burton, LB Cole, OL Asper, TE Reisner, and DE Reed.
THE OTHER TEAM: LB Matthews, S Woodson, CB Shields, DE Wilson, RB White, WR Driver, LB Manning
There are not any surprises for those that have been paying attention during the week, and while the Vikings will miss Percy Harvin once again, it is notable that the other team is dealing with an awful lot of injuries to some of their best players.