A Couple of Vikings Players Switched Positions

Nov 11, 2022; Munich, Germany; Large helmets of NFL teams at fan activation event at Odeonsplatz. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings released a first but unofficial depth chart Monday afternoon, with the first preseason game of 2023 three days away.

You can read the Vikings new depth chart here and our translated version here.

A Couple of Vikings Players Switched Positions

The club takes on the Seattle Seahawks late Thursday night on the road, an exhibition contest to help determine some roster battles with ‘cut day’ looming on August 29th.

And amid the depth chart release, a couple of veteran players evidently switched positions. Offensive tackle Blake Brandel appears done or paused at playing tackle, instead flipped over to guard, while center Josh Sokol was also listed a guard.

Vikings Players Switched
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Blake Brandel (64) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports.

Brandel was switched over to this spot among the RGs:

RG1: Ed Ingram
RG2: Blake Brandel
RG3: Chris Reed (NFI)*
*NFI = Non-Football-Injury List

He had been a tackle through three seasons in the NFL, and Minnesota is apparently trying something new for the 26-year-old.

Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings center Josh Sokol (60) during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Sokol, 25, was listed as a center on the Vikings depth chart last year, but he, too, is taking the OG plunge:

LG1: Ezra Cleveland
LG2: Josh Sokol
LG3: Jack Snyder

Sokol was an undrafted free-agent find by the Green Bay Packers — yes, them — in 2022 and remained on the cheese team’s roster until roster-cutdown day last summer. Minnesota scooped Sokol off waivers from the Packers, and he’s lived on the Vikings practice squad since. Sokol has not taken a regular season snap in his career to date.

Now, he’ll hope to make the 53-man roster as a guard unless Minnesota reverts him back to center out of necessity. The Vikings employ Garrett Bradbury, Austin Schlottmann, and Alan Ali at center.

Nov 20, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) and offensive tackle Blake Brandel (64) and teammates react during the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

On Brandel, former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman selected him from the 6th Round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Oregon State product has floated between the active roster and practice squad since. He tallied a 55.3 PFF grade in 2022, participating in 9 games, 3 as a starter, for 275 offensive snaps.

Brandel was showcased more often last year when injuries beset Christian Darrisaw. But Brandel injured his MCL in December, hit Injured Reserve, and wasn’t activated again until the postseason. In 2023, if the first depth chart holds, he’ll be the next man up in the event of injury to Ed Ingram.

Vikings Complementary Players Must Step Up Thursday
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackles Brian O’Neill (75) and Blake Brandel (64) perform a drill during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

There’s also a decent chance the Vikings sign a prominent free-agent guard and flip Brandel or Sokol back to their organic positions. Minnesota hosted veteran OG Dalton Risner for a free-agent visit a little over a week ago, but a deal has yet to materialize. Former Washington Commanders guard Andrew Norwell is also available via free agency.

The Vikings offensive line ranked 13th leaguewide in 2022, per PFF.

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.