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Vikings have several surprises on first unofficial depth chart

Bisi Johnson and Jeff Gladney will have big roles to open the season.
Bisi Johnson

The Minnesota Vikings released their first unofficial depth chart of the season on Monday and just like when they made moves to get down to their final 53-man roster, there were several surprises heading into the Week 1 matchup with the Green Bay Packers.

The first surprise may be the status of first-round selection Justin Jefferson. Despite a strong drumbeat at the start of training camp, Jefferson has slid behind Bisi Johnson for the second receiver spot. 

All hope for a quick start isn't lost for Jefferson, however as he's listed as the third receiver ahead of Tajaé Sharpe, Chad Beebe, Dan Chisena, and K.J. Osborn.

Another area of note is at cornerback where veterans Mike Hughes and Holton Hill are listed as starters. That's where things get interesting, however, as fellow first-round pick, Jeff Gladney is listed as the No. 3 cornerback ahead of Dantzler.

Much like Jefferson, Dantzler put together his own highlight reel early in camp but had his share of good and bad days. As Gladney has recovered from offseason surgery to fix a torn meniscus, he's gained reps and could be a better fit to operate out of the slot over the 6-foot-3 Dantzler.

Despite the release of the chart, there's still a chance it could change prior to Week 1 as the Vikings will look for depth, primarily at the safety position where Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris are the only players on the roster.

But the rest of the depth chart looks true to form and all 11 offensive starters were on the team a year ago, a sign of the need for continuity after an abnormal offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Starter: Kirk Cousins

Backup: Sean Mannion

Running back

Starter: Dalvin Cook

Backups: Alexander Mattison, Ameer Abdullah, Mike Boone

Fullback

Starter: C.J. Ham

Wide receiver

Starters: Adam Thielen and Bisi Johnson

Backups: Justin Jefferson, Tajaé Sharpe, Chad Beebe, Dan Chisena and K.J. Osborn

Tight end

Starter: Kyle Rudolph

Backups: Irv Smith, Jr. and Tyler Conklin

Offensive line

Starters: Riley Reiff, Dakota Dozier, Garrett Bradbury, Pat Elflein and Brian O'Neill

Backups: Rashod Hill, Ezra Cleveland, Dru Samia and Oli Udoh

DEFENSE

Defensive end

Starters: Danielle Hunter and Yannick Ngakoue

Backups: Ifeadi Odenigbo, Jalyn Holmes, Eddie Yarbrough and D.J. Wonnum

Defensive tackle

Starters: Shamar Stephen and Jaleel Johnson

Backups: Armon Watts, Hercules Mata'afa and James Lynch

Linebacker

Starters: Anthony Barr (SLB), Eric Kendricks (MLB) and Eric Wilson (WLB)

Backups: Troy Dye and Ryan Connelly

Cornerback

Starters: Mike Hughes and Holton Hill

Backups: Jeff Gladney, Cameron Dantzler, Kris Boyd and Harrison Hand

Safety

Starters: Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker

Dan Bailey

Punter/holder

Britton Colquitt

Long snapper

Austin Cutting

Kick returner

Starter: K.J. Osborn

Backup: Ameer Abdullah

Punt returner

Starter: K.J. Osborn

Backups: Chad Beebe and Mike Hughes

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