The Minnesota Vikings have released their first official depth chart of the 2012 season, and there are litttle in the way of big surprises with all the usual suspects listed as starters ahead of the team’s first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers coming on Friday.
Here’s a look at the what the depth chart looks like, listed with starters first at each position. Clearly a good portion of these guys further down the list at each position have little or no chance of making it to Week 1 with the team.
Left Tackle- Matt Kalil, DeMarcus Love, Kevin Murphy
Left Guard- Charlie Johnson, Chris DeGeare, Tyler Holmes, Grant Cook
Center- John Sullivan, Joe Berger, Quentin Saulsberry
Right Guard- Brandon Fusco, Geoff Schwartz, Austin Pasztor, Bridger Buche
Right Tackle- Phil Loadholt, Pat Brown, Levi Horn
Tight End- Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson, Rhett Ellison, Allen Reisner, Mickey Shuler
“Z” Receiver (Flanker)- Percy Harvin, Stephen Burton, Jarius Wright, Kerry Taylor, Bryan Walters, Kamar Jorden
“X” Receiver (Split End)- Jerome Simpson, Michael Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu, Greg Childs, Emmanuel Arceneaux
Fullback- Jerome Felton, Ryan D’Imperio, Matt Asiata
Halfback- Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Lex Hilliard, Jordan Todman, Derrick Coleman
Quarterback- Christian Ponder, Joe Webb, Sage Rosenfels, McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Right End- Jared Allen, Nick Reed, Jeff Charleston
Nose Tackle- Letroy Guion, Fred Evans, Chase Baker, Tydreke Powell
Under Tackle- Kevin Williams, Christian Ballard, Trevor Guyton, Anthony Jacobs
Weakside Linebacker- Erin Henderson, Marvin Mitchell, Everson Griffen
Middle Linebacker- Jasper Brinkley, Tyrone McKenzie, Audie Cole, Tyler Nielsen
Strongside Linebacker- Chad Greenway, Larry Dean, Solomon Elimimian, Corey Paredes
Right Cornerback- Chris Cook, Chris Carr, Josh Robinson, Zack Bowman, Bobby Felder, Chris Stroud
Left Cornerback- Antoine Winfield, Brandon Burton, Marcus Sherels, Reggie Jones, Corey Gatewood
Nickel Cornerback- Winfield, Sherels, Carr, Robert Blanton
Free Safety- Jamarca Sanford, Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo
Strong Safety- Mistral Raymond, Eric Frampton, Blanton
Punter- Chris Kluwe
Kicker- Blair Walsh
Long Snapper- Cullen Loeffler
Punt Returner- Sherels, Wright, Robinson, Walters
Kickoff Returner- Harvin, Sherels, Wright, Burton, Robinson
The Vikings still have clear concerns defensively, but the secondary at least looks to have some options available and some potential flexibility as well. Depth along the front seven looks shaky beyond the starters, and whether Brinkley can take the reigns at middle linebacker is still a big question. It should be mentioned that Griffen was drafted as a defensive end, and could theoretically play there as well as linebacker.
Injuries on the offensive side of the ball have created some questions there as well, as Peterson works his way back from the knee injury he suffered late last season and Carlson (knee) and Schwartz (sports hernia) have their status for the start of the season up in the air at this point. The knee injuries Childs suffered last Saturday night further depletes Minnesota’s wide receiver depth, and the team will be relying on someone in a largely unproven group to step up while Simpson serves his three-game suspension to start the season.