One player to watch at each defensive position group heading into Vikings training camp

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The Vikings are entering into an important training camp, especially for the defense. That side of the ball looks completely different from how it did last year. It’s a good thing they will — Minnesota’s defense struggled to get stops in 2020.

Free agent signings like Patrick Peterson, Dalvin Tomlinson, Sheldon Richardson and others will have to adjust to their new team. It would also help for rookies like Patrick Jones II to adjust to the league quickly.

Training camp is a great time for the team to get acclimated. Here is a Minnesota player to watch at each position group heading into 2021 training camp:

Defensive line: Sheldon Richardson

Sep 9, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (93) during a game between the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings' latest signing for their defensive line, Sheldon Richardson, will be interesting to watch during training camp. Richardson reunites with his former team after a stint with the Browns. He adds something different stylistically to the Minnesota interior line. But could he also be a 3-4 defensive end? Will we see Richardson line up there during training camp? We're going to have to wait and find out. Either way, Richardson should be a big boost.

Linebacker: Chazz Surratt

Mar 5, 2021; Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels linebacker Chazz Surratt runs a 40-yard dash at the House of Athlete Scouting Combine for athletes preparing to enter the 2021 NFL draft at Inter Miami Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Surratt made the unusual switch from quarterback to linebacker at the collegiate level. Now, he has a chance to polish his linebacker skills a little more. Surratt was taken in the third round, due to his coverage ability. However, he still needs to work on other aspects of his game to become a starting-caliber linebacker. Maybe he can make that jump pretty quickly. Surratt could impress in training camp and go as high as the third linebacker on the depth chart.

Cornerback: Bashaud Breeland

TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 29: Bashaud Breeland #21 of the Kansas City Chiefs intercepts a pass against Scott Miller #10 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their game at Raymond James Stadium on November 29, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Breeland expects to compete for a starting role out wide, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. He could make progress on landing a starting spot in training camp. He's competing with Patrick Peterson, Cameron Dantzler, Mackensie Alexander and others for some spots out wide. He could maybe be a slot corner ahead of Alexander if Peterson and Dantzler win the spots out wide. Some of that could be decided in training camp. Breeland will need to step up.

Safety: Camryn Bynum

Minnesota Vikings rookie Camryn Bynum, right, listens to head coach Mike Zimmer during NFL football rookie minicamp Friday, May 14, 2021, in Eagan, Minn. (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)

Bynum is switching from cornerback to safety. He could just be a depth player behind Harrison Smith and Xavier Woods this season. However, Woods is coming off a down year, so it's possible that Bynum could be a dark horse candidate to start this year. He will need to adjust to the NFL quickly. A promising training camp could help that.

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