The 6 Main Newcomers at Vikings Training Camp

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings offseason is basically over, as training camp kicks off Sunday in Eagan.

Minnesota finished 2022 with a 13-4 record and a division crown, hoping to replicate the feat in head coach Kevin O’Connnell’s second year at the helm.

The 6 Main Newcomers at Vikings Training Camp

And with camp less than 48 hours away, these are the six main newcomer players to know on the Vikings depth chart listed in alphabetical order.

1. Jordan Addison (WR)

The 6 Main
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.

This rookie has not had a good week. Early Thursday morning, Addison was charged with reckless driving in the Twin Cities, traveling 140 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.

But Addison issued a statement Friday evening, vowing to be better, “Yesterday morning I made a mistake and used poor judgment. I recognize and own that. I am going to learn from this and not repeat the behavior. I am truly sorry.”

If Addison has the skullduggery out of his system, he should contend for a WR2 job next to Justin Jefferson in the Vikings offense. Minnesota spent the 23rd overall pick in April’s draft on the USC product.

2. Mekhi Blackmon (CB)

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 cornerback from USC drafted by Minnesota in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

This man might win the starting slot cornerback job.

How do we know? Well, who else will it be? There are no bonafide contenders to win the gig outside of Blackmon. The Vikings plucked Jordan Addison’s teammate out of the 3rd Round in April’s draft, and he has ample defensive experience in college — more than most.

The rookie could be a Day One starter.

3. Marcus Davenport (OLB)

Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Marcus Davenport addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center. Davenport joined the Vikings in March of 2023 after four seasons with the New Orleans Saints.

The Vikings traded Za’Darius Smith to the Cleveland Browns in May after he became disgruntled with Minnesota’s front office’s stance on the budget. But before the trade, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah inked Davenport to a one-year deal in March, and he’s on deck to start opposite Danielle Hunter on the Vikings 2023 defensive line.

Davenport ran into a down year — sort of — in New Orleans a season ago, tabulating just 0.5 sacks. A former 1st-Rounder, his stint with the Vikings is a last-chance opportunity to prove his worth as a starting EDGE defender.

4. Dean Lowry (DT)

Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK.

A Packer turncoat, Lowry is accustomed to starting in Green Bay. And because the Vikings allowed Dalvin Tomlinson to bolt in free agency while maintaining Jonathan Bullard at another tentatively starting spot, Lowry has a clear path to start this September.

He’s a fairly dependable lineman; he doesn’t reach Pro Bowls but also doesn’t have a slew of terribly bad games. Lowry is a pretty steady-Eddie type of commodity.

Barring a free-agent signing of Ndamukong Suh, a starting DT job is his to lose.

5. Byron Murphy (CB)

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Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, a 2nd-Round draft pick. He was welcomed to the Vikings from free agency in March 2023.

Arguably the Vikings top offseason addition, at least on paper, Murphy is the only man in the Vikings CB room with tried-and-true experience. It’s quite mind-boggling.

Minnesota found Murphy in free agency, and he’ll hope to solidify a suspect CB portion of the depth chart that said goodbye to Patrick Peterson, Duke Shelley, Cameron Dantzler, Chandon Sullivan, and Kris Boyd in the last four months.

6. Josh Oliver (TE)’s Gabe Henderson talked with new Minnesota Vikings tight end Josh Oliver after he was signed by the team during 2023 NFL free agency. Oliver is on deck to serve as the Vikings TE2 in 2023 behind TE1 T.J. Hockenson.

The first offseason addition, Oliver will hold down TE2 duties unless something happens injury-wise to T.J. Hockenson.

Coming out of college in 2019, draft heads chided Oliver’s run-blocking ability and instead labeled him a pass-catching commodity only. Then, he eventually arrived in Baltimore and became a run-blocking asset with unknown pass-catching talent.

So, something’s gotta give in Minnesota. Perhaps he’ll excel at both.

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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