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Vikings Release 1st Unofficial Depth Chart of 2021 Season

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have released their first unofficial depth chart of 2021.

Minnesota opens preseason play by hosting Denver on Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.

For reference, the Vikings offense is listed in "21 personnel" with two backs (a running back and fullback) and a tight end. That leaves two spots at receiver, along with a quarterback and the offensive line.

The Vikings defense, meanwhile, features starters in a base 4-3 scheme, which includes four linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks and two safeties.

Here's a look at the Vikings unofficial depth chart with starters followed by backups listed in order as they appear.

OFFENSE (43 players)

Quarterback

Starter: Kirk Cousins

Backups: Jake Browning, Nate Stanley, Kellen Mond, Danny Etling

Running back

Starter: Dalvin Cook

Backups: Alexander Mattison, Ameer Abdullah, Kene Nwangwu, A.J. Rose, Jr.

Fullback

Starter: C.J. Ham

Backups: Jake Bargas

Wide receiver

Starters: Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson

Backups: K.J. Osborn and Chad Beebe, Dede Westbrook, Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Blake Proehl; Dan Chisena, Whop Philyor, Myron Mitchell, Warren Jackson

Tight end

Starter: Irv Smith, Jr.

Backups: Tyler Conklin, Brandon Dillon, Zach Davidson, Shane Zylstra

Offensive tackles

Starters: Rashod Hill (LT) and Brian O'Neill (RT)

Backups: Christian Darrisaw (LT), Brandel (RT), Evin Ksiezarczyk (LT), Zack Bailey (RT)

Interior offensive linemen

Starters: Ezra Cleveland (LG), Garrett Bradbury (C) and Olisaemeka Udoh (RG)

Backups: Dru Samia (LG), Mason Cole (C), Dakota Dozier (RG), Kyle Hinton (LG), Cohl Cabral (C), Wyatt Davis (RG)

Roster notes: There is plenty of continuity on offense, as the 11 current projected starters were on the team in 2020. Cousins, Cook, Thielen, Jefferson and Ham have also made the Pro Bowl in Purple. The Vikings offensive line is projected to have three returning starters, with Cleveland moving from right guard to left guard. Hill has made 17 starts with the Vikings over the years, while Udoh has transitioned from tackle to guard as camp opened. Browning has displayed progress and availability in camp, while Osborn and Conklin have shown up in the passing game. Mattison is among the league's top No. 2 running backs.

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of Oct. 12, 2021.

DEFENSE (42 players)

Defensive end

Starters: Danielle Hunter (LE) and Stephen Weatherly (RE)

Backups: Jalyn Holmes (LE), D.J. Wonnum (RE), Hercules Mata'afa (LE), Kenny Willekes (RE), Jordan Brailford (LE), Patrick Jones II (RE), Janarius Robinson (LE)

Defensive tackle

Starters: Michael Pierce (NT) and Dalvin Tomlinson (DT)

Backups: Armon Watts (NT), Sheldon Richardson (DT), James Lynch (NT), Zeandae Johnson (DT), Jordan Scott (NT)

Linebacker

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

Backups: Blake Lynch (SLB), Troy Dye (MLB), Cam Smith (WLB), Ryan Connelly (SLB), Tuf Borland (MLB), Chazz Surratt (WLB), Christian Elliss (SLB)

Cornerback

Starters: Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland

Backups: Mackensie Alexander and Cameron Dantzler; Harrison Hand andKris Boyd; Dylan Mabin, Tye Smith, Parry Nickerson and Amari Henderson

Safety

Starters: Harrison Smith and Xavier Woods

Backups: Myles Dorn and Camryn Bynum; Josh Metellus and Luther Kirk

Roster notes: The Vikings defense looks much different than a year ago, especially up front. Hunter and Pierce did not play in 2020, and both have looked stout in camp. Tomlinson, a free agent addition this spring, will also add muscle up front. Weatherly is back in Purple after a year away, and is competing with Wonnum for the starting job opposite Hunter. Barr and Kendricks remain among the league's top linebacker duos; their respective absences were felt last season. Minnesota could also have three new starting cornerbacks from a year ago, as the starters listed offer plenty of experience and knowledge. Smith is a staple at safety, and Woods has drawn praise from the coaching staff since arriving in March.

View photos of the Vikings 2021 coaching staff.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker

Starter: Greg Joseph

Backup: Riley Patterson

Punter/holder

Britton Colquitt

Long snapper

Starter: Andrew DePaola

Backup: Turner Bernard

Kick returner

Starter: Abdullah

Backup: Nwangwu

Punt returner

Starter: Abdullah

Backups: Osborn, Beebe and Smith-Marsette

Roster notes: Joseph has made 24 of 30 field goals in team drills in camp as he looks to secure a roster spot. Patterson missed more than a week of practice and is trying to make up ground. Colquitt is back for his third season with the Vikings. Abdullah gets the nod at both returner spots but has plenty of competition as preseason games loom.

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