Updates on the Top 3 Training Camp Battles for Vikings

Have Hybrid Gig
Rookie minicamp highlights from Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison's first practice as a Viking after being selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Addison played at the University of Pittsburgh and USC in college.

Minnesota Vikings training camp commenced earlier this week, and roster battles are aplenty.

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

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

1. CB2

3 Big
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

Frontrunner before Camp: Nobody

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

Minnesota acquired free-agent newcomer Byron Murphy in March, and he’s a shoo-in to start. After the former Cardinal, however, it’s a complete guessing game.

Well, almost out of nowhere this summer, the other free-agent CB, Joejuan Williams, has started to emerge as a frontrunner for the second starting cornerback job. Williams missed all of 2022 due to injury but is returning to form this summer.

Williams has run with the first-teamers at minicamp and training camp and could be classified as the CB2 frontrunner.

Current Frontrunner: Joejuan Williams

2. WR2

Updates on the Top
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Frontrunner before Camp: Jordan Addison

Contender(s): K.J. Osborn

Let’s get this out of the way: barring a ‘bust’ situation for Addison — which does not seem like it’s on the radar — Addison will eventually take over as the Vikings WR2.

But is that time now?

Probably not. Osborn has all the tools for WR2 and might win the gig to start the 2023 season. Thereafter, as the season progresses, Addison can ease his way into stardom, much like Christian Watson in Green Bay last year.

The Vikings have the luxury of not needing gold from Addison right away; that’s what Osborn is for. Re-watch highlights from the Indianapolis Colts game last year if you need more evidence.

Addison has looked wonderful at training cap, but so has Osborn. Betting money suggests Osborn will win the WR2 gig, mainly because of experience.

Current Frontrunner: K.J. Osborn

3. Free Safety

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports.

Frontrunner before Camp: Camryn Bynum

Contender(s): Lewis Cine, Josh Metellus

Minnesota has a deep safety room, including Harrison Smith, Camryn Bynum, Josh Metellus, and Lewis Cine.

Here’s the deal, though — based on the structure of Brian Flores’ defensive scheme, the identity of the official starter next to Smith may not matter. Bynum, Metellus, and Cine seem on tap to be deployed all over the damn place, meaning the winner of the free safety job could be somewhat irrelevant.

The identity of the starting free safety may indeed be interesting in namesake, but now is the time to expect equitable defensive snaps for Bynum, Metellus, and Cine. Flores could just ‘use them all.’

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.