Vikings Have 4 Crowded Roster Spots

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The Minnesota Vikings kick off training camp in about five weeks after concluding organized team activities and minicamp.

Vikings Have 4 Crowded Roster Spots

An ambiance of change surrounds the team after Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter left via free agency three months ago, with the notable additions of quarterbacks J.J. McCarthy and Sam Darnold, plus outside linebackers Jonathan Greenard and Dallas Turner.

Meanwhile, the purple team also possesses a good problem: it has too many crowded roster spots. These are those depth chart positions ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most crowded).

4. Tight End

josh oliver
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The Too-Crowded Crowd:
T.J. Hockenson
Josh Oliver
Johnny Mundt
Robert Tonyan
Nick Muse
Trey Knox
Sammis Reyes
N’Keal Harry

*Harry might convert from wide receiver to tight end, though that’s just a theory as of June 17th.

The Vikings will likely keep three of these men besides Hockenson, who is trending to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. No Hockenson out of the gate would make this roster spot a bit less complicated, but not by much.

Tonyan recently joined the club, while credible hints have suggested Harry will morph into a tight end. Before both tidbits, Minnesota didn’t have this TE “problem.” Now, however, someone — probably Muse or Harry — will get cut or assigned to the practice squad at the end of summer.

With Hockenson presumably on the PUP, the trio could be Oliver, Mundt, and Tonyan in Week 1.

3. Safety

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The Too-Crowded Crowd:
Harrison Smith
Camryn Bynum
Josh Metellus
Lewis Cine
Jay Ward
Theo Jackson

The same congested safety situation occurred in 2023, as well, and then Minnesota just kept everybody on the active roster, deploying versatile safeties all over the field in Brian Flores’ intricate defense.

This go-round, the climax is whether Cine makes the team, gets traded, or is shown the door via roster cut. Smith, Bynum, Metellus, and Ward are safe, and the Vikings love Jackson, too.

2. Cornerback

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The Too-Crowded Crowd:
Byron Murphy
Akayleb Evans
Mekhi Blackmon
Shaquill Griffin
Andrew Booth
Khyree Jackson
NaJee Thompson
Jaylin Williams
A.J. Green III
Dwight McGlothern

If Minnesota keeps five or six safeties on the 53-man roster in early September, well, this group can’t have too many more players than five or so. That creates a roster bubble cut-off involving Booth and an anonymous player because the Vikings won’t cut Murphy, Blackmon, or Jackson. Evans could leave the team, in theory, and it would be strange to cut Griffin, the most experienced CB on the roster.

No matter what, roster cuts involving one or two corners will raise eyebrows unless the Vikings unexpectedly prune the safety room.

1. Outside Linebacker

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The Too-Crowded Crowd:
Jonathan Greenard
Dallas Turner
Andrew Van Ginkel
Patrick Jones II
Jihad Ward
Andre Carter II
Gabriel Murphy
Owen Porter
Bo Richter

When Danielle Hunter didn’t re-sign in Minnesota, folks became anxietal about the future at EDGE. Fast forward three months, and it’s one of the deepest spots on the roster.

Flores’ defense will keep six outside linebackers at maximum and, more realistically, probably five. That puts Jones, Ward, and Carter II in intriguing and bubbly spots.

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 MIN 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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