NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings: Predicting 5 Surprise Starters in 2014

Minnesota Vikings: Predicting 5 Surprise Starters in 2014

Michael Mauti Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are in the midst of a complete coaching change. When coaching changes occur, personnel changes also tend to occur. New head coach Mike Zimmer has stated that every position will be an open competition, so there may be a number of new Vikings starters in 2014.

Here are five possible starters that may come as a surprise.

5. QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

5. QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings drafted Bridgewater with the intention of him becoming the team’s quarterback of the foreseeable future. While most analysts are under the impression that Matt Cassel will be the Vikings’ starting quarterback, Zimmer has not yet named a starting QB. Bridgewater has already opened a lot of eyes in the Vikings’ organization and could still very easily become the Vikings’ Week 1 starting quarterback.

4. G David Yankey

David Yankey Stanford
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

4. G David Yankey

David Yankey Stanford
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Many fans were unhappy when the Vikings resigned incumbent starter Charlie Johnson due to his noticeable struggles on the offensive line. Yankey is a pro-ready offensive lineman and is far more talented than Johnson. With that said, Yankey should become a starter sooner rather than later on the Vikings’ offensive line.

3. MLB Michael Mauti

Michael Mauti Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

3. MLB Michael Mauti

Michael Mauti Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

While Chad Greenway and Anthony Barr will more than likely be the Vikings’ starters at outside linebacker, the middle linebacker position remains unsettled. Jasper Brinkley appears to have the inside track, but Mauti is beginning to make himself known at training camp. Mauti is fully capable of becoming a starter in the NFL, as it has been injuries, not talent, that has held him back to this point.

2. SS Robert Blanton

Robert Blanton Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

2. SS Robert Blanton

Robert Blanton Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings have a very open competition for the safety position opposite of Harrison Smith. While Jamarca Sanford is the projected starter, he has been average at best in the Vikings secondary over the past few seasons. Blanton has slowly asserted himself as a sufficient NFL player and it remains possible that he relieves Sanford of his place on top the Vikings depth chart.

1. TE Chase Ford

Chase Ford Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

1. TE Chase Ford

Chase Ford Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

In the absence of Kyle Rudolph last season, Ford proved to be a solid receiving threat. While Rudolph is set to return from injury and reassume his starting role, Ford could end up being a starter as well, depending on how new offensive coordinator Norv Turner chooses to run his offense. If Turner elects to frequently run two tight end sets, Ford could find himself in a starting role in a new-look Vikings offense.

Robert Reidell is a Minnesota Vikings Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+