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.



Starter: Kirk Cousins

Backup: Sean Mannion

Running back

Starter: Dalvin Cook

Backups: Alexander Mattison, Ameer Abdullah, Mike Boone


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


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


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

Backups: Troy Dye and Ryan Connelly


Starters: Mike Hughes and Holton Hill

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


Starters: Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris



Dan Bailey


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

Next Up

Yia Vang - media photo - crop 2

Union Hmong Kitchen will move into Mpls. food hall

Chef Yia Vang said they're "so excited to settle in and have a home."

ISSAboveYou - Duluth North Shore - Oct 18 2021

Watch: Mille Lacs, Duluth captured in stunning video from ISS

The space station provides a vantage point 260 miles above the Earth's surface.


Ladies and gentlemen, The Weeknd has canceled his St. Paul show

He's made changes to his 2022 tour that involves scrapping his Xcel Energy Center gig.

Pixabay - police lights, tape

Man released from custody after admitting to fatal shooting in ND

Authorities said there is no threat to the public.


MN water tower in the running for Tank of the Year

It was the only water tank to receive more than 5,000 votes.

first snow

Any sign of snow in the forecast for Minnesota?

The stars could align for some flurries in northern Minnesota this week, but that's about it.

Flickr - 14 year old vaccine shot - Navy Medicine

Walz announces $200 reward for kids 12-17 who get COVID shots

Those ages have the lowest vaccination rates among all eligible age groups.


Justin Jefferson

Vikings announce signing of 2020 draft class

All 15 members of the Vikings' draft class are now under contract.

Justin Jefferson

Wide Left: Did the Vikings really nail both first-round draft picks?

Both Justin Jefferson and Jeff Gladney had positive reviews but...

Justin Jefferson

Who could the Vikings select in the first round of the NFL Draft?

A lot of experts are centering around LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

Justin Jefferson

5 questions for the Vikings vs. the Cowboys

The Vikings will look to continue their playoff push on Sunday.

Dru Samia

4 Vikings storylines to watch against the Colts

Things can't get worse than they were last week...right?


Coller: What's left to watch for Vikings fans?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.