X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NFL Minnesota Vikings

Predicting the Minnesota Vikings’ Week 1 Depth Chart

1 of 19
NEXT

Predicting the Minnesota Vikings’ Week 1 Depth Chart

Adrian Peterson Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings released their unofficial Week 1 depth chart this morning, which provided clarity to a number of positions. While it is plausible that the Vikings could make a few changes before their Week 1 matchup against the St. Louis Rams, it appears unlikely.

With that said, here is a prediction as to what the Vikings' Week 1 depth chart should look like.

Quarterback

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cassel (Starter)
Teddy Bridgewater
Christian Ponder

No huge surprises here, as Mike Zimmer announced Cassel as the starter early last week. Ponder is probably the best third-string quarterback in the league.

Running Back

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Running Back

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

RB:
Adrian Peterson (Starter)
Matt Asiata
Jerick McKinnon

FB:
Jerome Felton
Zach Line

In an interesting move, the Vikings elected to keep two fullbacks. The belief here is that the team is building for the future with Line, who may be used at other positions as well.

Wide Receiver

Greg Jennings Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receiver

Greg Jennings Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Greg Jennings (Starter)
Cordarrelle Patterson (Starter)
Jarius Wright
Adam Thielen
Rodney Smith

With Jerome Simpson suspended for the first three games, Thielen should see quite a few snaps. This also gives Smith an opportunity to prove he belongs on the 53-man roster.

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Tight End

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Rudolph (Starter)
Rhett Ellison
MarQueis Gray

The buzz around Minnesota concerns the signing of former University of Minnesota quarterback Gray, but Rudolph is the player to watch here. He is the red-zone threat every team would like to have.

Offensive Line

Phil Loadholt Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

Phil Loadholt Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

T:
Matt Kalil (Starter)
Phil Loadholt (Starter)
Mike Harris

G:
Charlie Johnson (Starter)
Brandon Fusco (Starter)
David Yankey
Vladimir Ducasse

C:
John Sullivan (Starter)
Joe Berger

The Vikings will trot out the same starting five offensive linemen as last season, but will hope for better production from Kalil. He struggled against the Kansas City Chiefs and will have a huge matchup against Robert Quinn this weekend.

Defensive Line

Brian Robison Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

Brian Robison Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

DE:
Brian Robison (Starter)
Everson Griffen (Starter)
Corey Wootton
Scott Crichton

DT:
Sharrif Floyd (Starter)
Tom Johnson

NT:
Linval Joseph (Starter)
Shamar Stephen

The roster cut that came as arguably the biggest surprise was veteran DT Fred Evans, which made room for the rookie Stephen. Joseph will be ready to go Week 1 after sustaining an injury from a gunshot wound.

Linebacker

Chad Greenway Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Linebacker

Chad Greenway Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

SLB:
Anthony Barr (Starter)
Gerald Hodges

MLB:
Jasper Brinkley (Starter)
Audie Cole

WLB:
Chad Greenway (Starter)
Brandon Watts
Michael Mauti

Brinkley was named the starter at middle linebacker over Cole, but will reportedly be removed during passing downs. Expect this position to move around quite a bit, both on the depth chart and with sub packages.

Defensive Back

Captain Munnerlyn Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs
Getty Images

Defensive Back

Captain Munnerlyn Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs
Getty Images

CB:
Xavier Rhodes (Starter)
Captain Munnerlyn (Starter)
Josh Robinson
Jabari Price
Marcus Sherels
Shaun Prater

FS:
Harrison Smith (Starter)
Andrew Sendejo

SS:
Robert Blanton (Starter)
Antone Exum Jr.

After the release veterans Kurt Coleman and Chris Crocker, Blanton will be the opening day starter at SS. Robinson will be the first CB off the bench in three-CB packages.

Special Teams

Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams

Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

K:
Blair Walsh

P:
Jeff Locke

LS: Cullen Loeffler

H:
Jeff Locke

KR:
Cordarrelle Patterson (Starter)
Marcus Sherels

PR:
Marcus Sherels (Starter)
Jarius Wright

No surprises here as the entire special teams group remains the same from last season. Patterson may not return kicks as frequently down the road, due to an increased role on offense, but this change has yet to be made.

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