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5 positions where depth could be a major issue for Vikings

Saturday's loss to the Broncos gave them a lengthy shopping list.
Jake Browning

The Minnesota Vikings lost to the Denver Broncos on Saturday but if there is a silver lining it's that the 33-6 helps them know where they need to improve. 

With teams needing to get down from 90 to 85 players by Thursday afternoon, 160 players league-wide will hit the waiver wire, giving Minnesota the chance to add some depth where there are obvious concerns. 

So which positions should the Vikings target the most?

Backup quarterback

The backup quarterback is usually the second most popular player on the team but with the vaccine drama surrounding Kirk Cousins, it could be of even bigger importance this season.

Jake Browning entered Saturday's game with a chance to cement his spot as Cousins' contingency plan. Instead, he looked like a quarterback that should be looking for a new job.

Browning didn't get help from his supporting cast but still didn't play well. He looked tentative and jumpy in the pocket and a pick-six to Patrick Surtain II wasn't going to help Zimmer sleep on his quarterback position.

Although Kellen Mond played extensively on Saturday, he's not ready to start a regular season game after just three training camp practices. With Browning's rough performance, the Vikings should consider bringing in a veteran or a camp cut to provide more competition for the backup job.

Offensive guard

It's hard to believe the Vikings are doing this again, but here we are. The Vikings' guards were already a question mark heading into Saturday and after the loss, it's clear the Vikings need more from the position.

Dakota Dozier struggled mightily. Rookie Wyatt Davis posted the second-best Pro Football Focus grade (78.9) on the team Saturday, though he also allowed a sack to Shamar Stephen.

Next week should provide some answers when Ezra Cleveland and Oli Udoh make their preseason debuts but even they aren't sure things at guard. That makes hitting the wire to find a guard a top priority.

Linebacker

The Vikings are set up front with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks but depth remains a huge issue behind them. Although the Vikings were hoping the return of Cameron Smith would help, he suffered a concussion early in Saturday's game.

That leaves a slew of questionable options behind them. Viking linebackers didn't have a missed tackle during Saturday's game but they struggled in coverage, allowing 105 yards on six receptions.

Mike Zimmer called upon his linebackers to "step up" last week but nobody seemed to answer the challenge. Although they'll have Nick Vigil behind Barr and Kendricks, the Vikings need to find a fourth linebacker in case of an emergency.

Safety

Of all the positions that struggled on Saturday, safety may have struggled the most. Camryn Bynum and Myles Dorn both had tough afternoons, leaving plenty of questions on where to go moving forward.

Bynum's impact was felt early in the game on the 80-yard touchdown from Drew Lock to K.J. Hamler. Although Hamler broke free from Cameron Dantzler's coverage, Bynum appeared to blow his assignment, which led to the former Penn State speedster cruising into the end zone for an easy score.

Dorn had issues making tackles. Although he wound up with five in the game, Dorn missed a team-high four tackles, which is sure to draw the ire of the coaching staff.

With Josh Metellus, Luther Kirk and Parry Nickerson failing to make an impact, the Vikings will need to find some help on the back end.

Punter

What would a Vikings discussion be without the special teams? After the Vikings got crushed in the field position battle last year, every special teamer should be on high alert including a veteran like Britton Colquitt.

The 12th year pro had a miserable day on Sunday, with three of his four punts traveling less than 40 yards. Although he broke the barrier on his final kick, it was aided by a generous bounce that should raise some eyebrows.

The Vikings thought they solved their special teams problem last offseason when they signed Colquitt and Dan Bailey to multi-year contracts. Instead, Colquitt may have his job on the line when the Vikings host Indianapolis next week.

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