Updates on the Top 3 Training Camp Battles for Vikings — Week 2

Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mekhi Blackmon's first practice as a Viking after being selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. Blackmon is a cornermback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Two weeks of Minnesota Vikings training camp are in the books.

Jaren Hall, a rookie quarterback, is a dark-horse QB2 contender. The Vikings special teams coordinator point-blank announced a kicking competition between Greg Joseph and rookie Jack Podlesny. And those items are the tips of icebergs.

Updates on the Top 3 Training Camp Battles for Vikings — Week 2

On the whole, consider these three updates on the team’s Top 3 positional camp battles after about 10 practices.

1. CB2

the Top 3 Training Camp
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway (1) catches the ball as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans (21) defends in the fourth quarter during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Saints 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Frontrunner before Camp: Nobody

Contender(s): Andrew Booth, Akayleb Evans, Joejuan Williams

During training camp’s first week, Joejuan Williams stole the show, which made sense for a veteran among this and last year’s rookies. But fast forward one week, and Akayleb Evans, a rookie in 2022, seemed to grip the CB2 job, at least for a week.

Evans performed wonderfully in spots last year — especially against the Washington Commanders — and only saw his season ruined by concussions. Now, though, Evans is back and vying for a starter’s job.

For curious minds, rookie Mekhi Blackmon has impressed at training camp, but it is unclear if he’ll fill slot CB duties. Folks may have to wait for a depth chart to solve that mystery.

Current Frontrunner: Akayleb Evans

2. WR2

Vikings Rookie Unfazed
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Frontrunner before Camp: Jordan Addison

Contender(s): K.J. Osborn

Both men have played phenomenally at Vikings training camp; not too much negative can be associated with either man.

It’s a true-blue battle for WR2, with a slight edge toward Osborn because of his veteran incumbency. If there was no such thing as Osborn on the Vikings depth chart, fans could be excited about Addison starting right away this September. But Osborn is a luxury and may maintain the WR2 job indefinitely.

Fans shouldn’t be surprised either way about who technically grabs the WR2 job; both players look great through two weeks of training camp.

Osborn remains the safer bet.

Current Frontrunner: K.J. Osborn

3. Free Safety

Could Be Cut This
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Camryn Bynum (24) reacts after the game against the New York Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Frontrunner before Camp: Camryn Bynum

Contender(s): Lewis Cine, Josh Metellus

Because he played every possible Vikings defensive snap last year, Bynum is probably the favorite to keep his free safety job. But examining the Brian Flores defense more and more, it seems the identity of the formal starter may not matter. He might showcase unique sets with Bynum, Cine, and Metellus flying all over the place.

Bynum, Metellus, and Cine have impressed at training camp, and Cine especially showcased an impressive second week. This roster spot could be like an NBA playoff game where a certain player starts the game, but a different man is on the court late in the 4th quarter.

This section of the depth chart remains fluid and could just be that way throughout the season. Minnesota has ‘too many’ good players at safety.

Current Frontrunner: All

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 Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.