View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster as of January 4, 2021.
EAGAN, Minn. — It may look different than recent years, but Verizon Vikings Training Camp is off and running.
And while players won't hit the field for padded practices until Monday, they will work on strength and conditioning drills and offseason-type practices until then.
Another new element is that NFL rosters have to be down to 80 players by August 16. The Vikings are there after a recent series of roster moves.
One upside to the current Vikings roster is that they currently don't have any players on the COVID/Reserve List.
Yet as training camp continues, here's a quick refresher of the 80 players currently on the Vikings roster (players listed in alphabetical order):
Quarterbacks (4): Jake Browning, Kirk Cousins, Sean Mannion, Nate Stanley
Fresh off perhaps the best season of his career, Cousins is back for his third season in Purple armed with a contract extension and a road playoff win. Minnesota has built its offense to Cousins' strengths, and the hope is that he'll be even better in 2020 than his Pro-Bowl campaign in 2019 that saw him throw for 3,603 yards with 26 scores and just six interceptions in 15 games. The battle for the backup job should be one of the most intriguing during camp, especially between Mannion and Browning. Mannion was Cousins' backup in 2019, while Browning was on the practice squad. Stanley is a seventh-round rookie out of Iowa.
Running backs (6): Ameer Abdullah, Jake Bargas, Mike Boone, Dalvin Cook, C.J. Ham, Alexander Mattison
Cook is the focal point of the Vikings offense, but the Vikings also boast of a deep backfield with Ham, Mattison and Boone. Cook, whom General Manager Rick Spielman said the Vikings are working with for a possible extension, made his first Pro Bowl in 2019. He rushed for 1,135 yards with 13 touchdowns, and added 500-plus receiving yards. Mattison was impressive as a rookie averaging 4.6 yards per carry, while Boone also produced big moments, too. Ham led the way as a Pro-Bowl fullback. Abdullah provides value on special teams and depth in the backfield. Bargas is an undrafted rookie free agent out of North Carolina.
Tight ends (5): Tyler Conklin, Brandon Dillon, Nakia Griffin-Stewart, Kyle Rudolph, Irv Smith, Jr.
Rudolph is a proven commodity on the field, as the veteran leader steps up in big moments. (See: January 4, 2020 in overtime). Smith could be primed for a bigger role after a strong rookie season, as his athleticism is a mismatch for opposing defenses. Conklin could join that duo on the field for three tight-end sets under Gary Kubiak, giving the Vikings the ability to go heavy in the run or showcase Cousins' play-action ability. Dillon came out of nowhere to be a star in camp a year ago, and developed on the practice squad. Griffin-Stewart is an undrafted free agent out of Pittsburgh.
Wide receivers (10): Chad Beebe, Dan Chisena, Quartney Davis, Alexander Hollins, Justin Jefferson, Bisi Johnson, Dillon Mitchell, K.J. Osborn, Tajae' Sharpe, Adam Thielen
Thielen is the elder statesman and the unquestioned leader of the group after Stefon Diggs was traded this offseason. He endured an injury-plagued 2019 season, and will be motivated to prove he remains among the league's best wide receivers. Sharpe, a free-agent addition, will compete for the No. 2 role with Jefferson, a 2020 first-rounder whon drew rave reviews during the virtual offseason. Johnson flashed plenty as a seventh-round rookie in 2019. Beebe is back after missing nearly all of the 2019 season with an ankle injury. He could challenge Osborn for the punt returner job. Mitchell and Hollins were on the practice squad in 2019. Davis is an undrafted free agent with plenty of potential. Chisena is a former track star at Penn State who just might be the fastest player on the roster.
Offensive linemen (15): Brady Aiello, Garrett Bradbury, Blake Brandel, Ezra Cleveland, Aviante Collins, Dakota Dozier, Pat Elflein, Rashod Hill, Kyle Hinton, Brett Jones, Jake Lacina, Brian O'Neill, Riley Reiff, Du Samia, Oli Udoh
The starting five is unknown at this point, although a few positions are solidified. O'Neill will look to cement himself as one of the game's top right tackles after a stellar sophomore season. Bradbury, a 2019 first-rounder who started every game at center, is inked into that role. Reiff will start at left tackle and is the veteran leader for the group. Elflein had an up-and-down 2019 season but is still in the mix to start at left guard, and also provides center depth.
Cleveland, a 2020 second-round pick, played tackle in college but appears to be in the mix for a starting guard spot. Collins and Dozier are also candidates for a starting guard spot, according to Vikings OC Gary Kubiak. Hill remains one of the league's top backup swing tackles. Jones provides depth on the interior. Samia and Udoh essentially had redshirt seasons in 2019, and could take steps forward in 2020. Brandel and Hinton were late-round picks who both have potential. Aiello and Lacina are undrafted free agents.
Defensive linemen (14): Jalyn Holmes, Danielle Hunter, Jaleel Johnson, Stacy Keely, James Lynch, Hercules Mata'afa, David Moa, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Shamar Stephen, Armon Watts, Kenny Willekes, D.J. Wonnum, Eddie Yarbrough, Anthony Zettel
After back-to-back seasons with 14.5 sacks, Hunter is now viewed as one of the game's top pass rushers. He'll lead a unit that oversaw some turnover this offseason, where Odenigbo could step into a starting role in 2020 at defensive end after notching 7.0 sacks in 2019. Wonnum and Willekes were draft picks with high upside, while Yarbrough and Zettel are veterans. That quartet will battle for roster spots behind the starters, as will Keely, who spent 2019 on the practice squad. Stephen is a presumed starter at defensive tackle, but the other spot is up for grabs following the opt out of Michael Pierce. Johnson, Watts, Holmes, Mata'afa and Lynch will all battle for playing time in camp in what could be a heated competition. Minnesota will rely on Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Andre Patterson to help mold that group. Lynch was a fourth-round pick who was the 2019 Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Moa is an undrafted free agent from Boise State.
View photos of Vikings players who participated in workouts at TCO Performance Center.
Linebackers (8): Anthony Barr, Troy Dye, Jordan Fehr, Ben Gedeon, Eric Kendricks, Blake Lynch, Quentin Poling, Eric Wilson
Barr and Kendricks remain one of the NFL's top linebacker duos, especially after Kendricks' First-Team All-Pro season in 2019. The duo will be counted upon to help lead a defense as veterans in the middle of the field. Wilson provided play-making ability on defense in 2019 after Gedeon missed the second half of the season with a concussion, and could move into a starting role in the base 4-3 package. Dye is a promising and athletic rookie who was productive at Oregon. Fehr might be the most athletic of the linebackers but will have to earn a roster spot after being a star at Appalachian State. Lynch is an undrafted free agent out of Baylor, and Poling was added to the roster last week.
Defensive backs (15): Kris Boyd, Nevelle Clarke, Brian Cole II, Cameron Dantzler, Myles Dorn, Mark Fields II, Jeff Gladney, Harrison Hand, Anthony Harris, Holton Hill, Mike Hughes, Nate Meadors, Josh Metellus, Marcus Sayles, Harrison Smith
Smith and Harris make up the best safety tandem in the league, and will be relied upon to help a young cornerback group. Metellus and Cole, late-round picks in 2020 will look to add safety depth and help on special teams. Dorn, an undrafted free agent from North Carolina, is also included in that conversation. Hughes is now viewed as a leader in the cornerback room, despite the 2018 first-round pick playing in just 20 career games. Hill is a candidate to start, and Boyd is in the mix, too. Gladney leads the fresh faces as a first-rounder, while Dantzler (third-round) and Hand (fifth-round) will also compete for playing time on defense and special teams. Meadors saw some game action in 2019 and has experience at safety, while Fields spent time on the practice squad. Sayles was added this offseason after being a standout in the CFL. Clarke was a sought-after undrafted free agent out of UCF.
Special teamers (3): Dan Bailey, Britton Colquitt, Austin Cutting
For the first time in recent memory, the Vikings have stability within their kicking operation. Bailey's first full season in Purple was a hit, as he earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors on three separate occasions. He hit 27 of 29 field goals in 2019, including 22 straight kicks to end the regular season. Colquitt arrived just before Week 1and had one of the top seasons for a punter in franchise history, setting a Vikings single-season record for net average at 42.6. He had a gross average of 45.2 yards on 59 punts with no touchbacks, and provided plenty of laughs along the way to bring a yin-and-yang relationship with the trio. Cutting, a 2019 seventh-round pick, was more than dependable as a rookie long snapper. He was reliable on 132 total snaps in 2019 (29 field goals, 44 extra points and 59 punts). There are high expectations fo this group heading into 2020.