3 Items to Monitor at Vikings Mandatory Minicamp
The Minnesota Vikings organized team activities wind down next week, preparing for mandatory minicamp from June 7 to 9.
Unlike last year, there should be no drama about players no-showing as the franchise doesn’t currently have any prominent contractual disputes.
Nonetheless, these are the three big items to monitor, among many overall, as the 2022 Vikings puzzle continues to come together.
1. Who Has the Fast Track to Right Guard?
New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah signed Chris Reed and Jesse Davis this offseason via free agency, presumably to compete for the open RG spot on the depth chart.
But then he spent 2nd-Round draft capital on the controversial Ed Ingram.
When a general manager drafts an interior lineman early in a draft, the prognosis is generally of the starting caliber for the draftee. Yet, Ingram still has to win the job over two decent candidates in Reed and Davis. For an ordinary football team, a right guard situation at a June minicamp would fall in a “who cares” category. But these are the Vikings, snakebitten by embarrassing RG performance since the arrival of Kirk Cousins to Minnesota.
The identity of the RG in 2022 matters, and it should begin to crystalize as early as June 7-9.
2. Who Will Start in 2022 at CB? Dantzler or Booth?
Cameron Dantzler vs. Andrew Booth will be among the fascinating summer storylines to watch. Booth is nursing a sports hernia back to health, but most expect his presence at mandatory minicamp.
And if he’s there, fans will monitor with a careful eye, hoping to understand if he’s the type of rookie who starts right away. Many draft projections plopped Booth in the 1st Round of April’s draft, but he fell to the Vikings in Round 2 — probably because of the sports hernia.
Patrick Peterson was the Vikings most consistent corner in 2021, so it’s unlikely that he will be surpassed on the depth chart by an unproven Booth. Therefore, a Dantzler-Booth battle will take shape early this summer.
3. Does Kellen Mond truly emerge as the QB2?
This one is incredibly interesting, not because Mond will have a big impact in 2022 but for Mond’s outlook beyond this season.
Listen, it’s difficult to stomach, but there is a reasonable chance the 2022 Vikings emulate the 2020 and 2021 Vikings — not horrible but not playoff-bound. If that happens, Kirk Cousins won’t be associated with the franchise too much longer.
Ergo, it is absolutely vital for Minnesota’s brass to learn if Mond has the pedigree to eventually start. If he does not — and Mike Zimmer was right all along — Adofo-Mensah can pivot to the NFL draft for the quarterback of the future.
However, if Mond electrifies, shows tidbits of promise, or anything in between, the Vikings could have their future QB1 already in-house. And because the quarterback is the most important position on a football team, the Vikings must fundamentally learn if Mond has “it.”
If you’re keeping tabs on the Vikings this summer and it’s The Mannion Show at QB2, it will mean Mond doesn’t have “it.”
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).