The Vikings 11 Projected Starters on Offense

The Vikings 2021 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 1
Sep 11, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) in action against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings regular season begins in eight days, hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium, a team forecasted to finish around 6-11 or 7-10 this season.

The Vikings 11 Projected Starters on Offense

Minnesota’s 53-man roster for 2023 is 36% different than last year’s initial roster, as the club underwent some foundational upheaval with the departures of Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Eric Kendricks, Patrick Peterson, Za’Darius Smith, and Dalvin Tomlinson, among others.

But much of the offense stayed intact. Here’s a look at the Vikings’ 11 protected starters on offense.

Note: C.J. Ham was left off the list because he played just 15% of offensive snaps in 2022.

QB: Kirk Cousins

The Vikings 11 Projected
Dec 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports.

Back for a contract year, Cousins will hope to do enough in Year Six with the Vikings to prove he’s worthy of an age-36 season in 2024. Minnesota likely needs a playoff win or two for Cousins to see Year Seven in Minnesota.

RB: Alexander Mattison

Starters in 2023
Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) walks off the field after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports.

Dalvin Cook is gone, and Alexander Mattison is in. Many didn’t expect the 25-year-old to return in 2023 he was a free agent in March but the man is now Minnesota’s RB1 after four years in the waiting.

He’s also the youngest running back on the Vikings active roster.

WR: Justin Jefferson

Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) flexes to the crowd after hanging on to a complete pass for a first down in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.

No caption needed for the OPOY.

WR: K.J. Osborn

Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) during warmups prior to the game at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

Osborn told the world this on Friday, meaning he’s fully ready for the bright lights of WR2.

WR: Jordan Addison

Oct 15, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a pass against the Utah Utes in the second half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports.

In title, Addison is the current WR3, but he’ll use the early parts of the 2023 season as a canvas to prove he’s WR2 material.

TE: T.J. Hockenson

The Vikings 2022 Offense by the Numbers: After Week 11
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) runs after a catch against the Washington Commanders during the second half at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

The richest tight end in NFL history will hope to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a season for the first time. He’s also never recorded more than 6 receiving touchdowns in a season. The time is now.

LT: Christian Darrisaw

OL Ranking for 2023
Sep 19, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) prepares to block against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

This man deserves a Pro Bowl nod. Concussions derailed his chances last year. And don’t look now, but all of those conversations about Hockenson and Jefferson’s contract extensions will soon involve Darrisaw and are coming to Vikings discussions near you next offseason.

LG: Ezra Cleveland

May 26, 2021; Eagan, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland (72) participates in drills at OTA at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Like Cousins, Cleveland hits a contract year in Minnesota, and it may be his last in purple, as he was not drafted by this Vikings leadership regime. Staying with the Vikings will depend on his asking price next March.

C: Garrett Bradbury

Dec 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) celebrates as he makes a sack on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) (not pictured) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Also pictured: Garrett Bradbury. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bradbury was a free agent six months ago, listened to a few offers from other teams, and returned home to run with Kevin O’Connell and the boys. His performance improved in 2022, just enough for fans to welcome him back.

RG: Ed Ingram

PurplePTSD: Old Viking to Dolphins, Ed Ingram Momentum, MIN-LV Winners and Losers
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Ed Ingram (67) defends against Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Vernon Butler (94) in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The largest question mark on the Vikings starting offensive roster, folks don’t know if Ingram will “take the leap” in 2023 and improve as a sophomore or fall on the Vikings recent ash heap of failed offensive guards. Let’s hope for the former.

RT: Brian O’Neill

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (25) and center Garrett Bradbury (56) and offensive tackle Brian O’Neill (75) in action during the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

An OL stalwart after five seasons with the Vikings, O’Neill has expeditiously recovered from a partially torn Achilles suffered last year against the Green Bay Packers. He’s one of the handsomest paid RTs in the sport, and Minnesota needs him on the field if they are to repeat as division champions.

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).

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