Friday, July 29, 2016

xavier rhodes

Image courtesy of Chris Price

Over the course of the last few weeks, Austin Belisle and myself have asked you to make predictions about how the Minnesota Vikings’ 2016 training camp will play out. Meanwhile, Adam Patrick compiled consensus rankings of the “Top 30” most important Vikings players of 2016, with help from 14 knowledgable Vikings writers. Below is the genesis of all that work.

We’ve used your votes, combined with the rankings, to try and assemble one of the most collaborative roster predictions you’ll be able to find anywhere.

Of course, a few questions remain despite the compilation of input, so Austin and I did our best to fill in the blanks. That leads us to our final installment of “10 Camp Questions” in which the tenth question for you, the readers of Vikings Territory, are invited to answer.

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Only 10 players remain in our countdown of the Top 30 Vikings heading into the 2016 season. For the next two parts, we have decided to split the remaining players into two groups.

This week will feature the players that ended up in slots 10-6 of the list, while next week will reveal what five players finished at the top.

Make sure to check out the first two parts of this feature before reading any further.

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Youth and the Cornerback Conundrum
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

This 10-part series focuses on the biggest questions facing the Vikings as they head into Mankato for their training camp festivities. Be sure to answer the first three questions HERE, HERE, and HERE.

CAMP QUESTION #4 – BATTLE OF THE YOUTH

The Minnesota Vikings are primed for a competitive 10 days of training camp in Mankato. From the battles at offensive line to the stalemate at strong safety, the team’s depth chart is sure to be in a constant state of flux. But neither position will experience as much jockeying as cornerback, where general manager Rick Spielman has said the team is “trying to keep as much competition” as they can.

Xavier Rhodes is the clear starter on one side of the field, and he’s in no place to lose his job in the next two years. Minnesota picked up his fifth-year option this offseason, locking up Rhodes through 2017. It’s on the other side of the field where things get complicated.

Sure, Terence Newman returns on a one-year, $3-million deal this year, but second-year cornerback Trae Waynes is waiting in the wings. Not to mention, the Vikings drafted Mackensie Alexander with this year’s second round pick, muddling an already deep unit of the roster.

Right now, it’s Rhodes, Newman, and Captain Munnerlyn at the top, with Waynes and Alexander sitting impatiently on the sidelines. Waynes enters training camp following an encouraging finish to 2015, while Mackensie arrives with the distinction of being a more pro-ready prospect coming out of college. Both have a chance to play this season, but it’s a matter of timing, circumstances, and performance; let the games begin.

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Laquon Treadwell

School’s finally out for summer. Well…. At least 6 weeks.

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings wrapped up mini-camp Thursday at Winter Park by cancelling practice and letting the Purple get a jump on their summer vacations a few hours early. We’re still on our grind here though bringing you a ten-pack of Vikings talkers to take you into Father’s Day weekend and the official start to summer.

Today’s Topics Include
• Vikings Mini-Camp Wrapped Up a Day Early
• Joint Practices Announced with the Bengals
• Only 10 Days in Mankato
• Adrian Says to Trade Anyone Not Thinking Super Bowl
• Laquon Treadwell Got Hazed with…. Fruit Snacks?
• Will This be the Year for Cordarrelle?
• Why Linval & Sharrif Benefit from Fletcher Cox’s Mega-Deal
• What if Xavier Rhodes Becomes Good at Off Coverage?
• Decoding What Everyone’s Saying About Mortiz Boehringer
• Vikings Cut DT Bruce Gaston & LB Travis Lewis

All that and other “Madison Treadwell’s School Lunches are the REAL Winner” nonsense on this edition of the Purple FTW! Podcast.

An Andy Carlson Joint

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Projecting the Vikings' Final 53-Man Roster
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The 2016 season inched forward a bit when the Vikings opened their OTA offseason workouts. With that came plenty of early optimism about the Vikings’ talented roster. Teddy is ready to throw for 10,000 yards. Adrian Peterson is in the best shape of his life. 2015 top pick Trae Waynes is thriving and Aaron Boone looks great in purple.

If you listen closely, you can hear the faintest of claims that the Vikings are a true Super Bowl contender.

It is too early to say most of these things, but when you start to stack Minnesota’s roster, you can see why the hype exists. I struggled with my first attempt to pencil in a final 53-man roster, mostly because there will be talented players who will inevitably be cut. The front office won’t have an easy task on their hands, but I’d take a loaded roster over a barren one any day of the week.

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