Projecting the Vikings offense for 2021

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Jack White
·3 min read
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The Vikings just had too many inconsistencies to overcome in 2020. But Minnesota still had its share of bright spots.

Most of those bright spots came on offense. RB Dalvin Cook had a career year. Adam Thielen came back from an injury-marred 2019 and Justin Jefferson emerged as a star.

If this unit can repeat the success it had in 2020, then an improved defense could lead to a bounce-back season.

As it stands, most of the team’s offensive positions seem pretty defined, with just a few exceptions. Here is a projection for a starting lineup in 2020.

Just a note: Vikings Wire added a few positions outside of the conventional starters. We even threw in some special teams spots.

QB Kirk Cousins

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Photo: AP Photo/Brett Duke

WR Justin Jefferson

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Photo: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

WR Adam Thielen

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen. Photo: AP Photo/Jim Mone

WR3 Chad Beebe (or a rookie)

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Chad Beebe. Photo: AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

Analysis: I think Beebe is the most likely candidate to take this spot. It would be great if Minnesota drafted a wide receiver early, one who could match the skill level of Jefferson or Thielen. But my guess is they go with Beebe.

TE Irv Smith Jr.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. Photo: AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

TE Tyler Conklin

Minnesota Vikings tight end Tyler Conklin. Photo: AP Photo/David Berding

Analysis: Conklin did enough last season to earn this spot. However, he's relatively unproven, so maybe Minnesota wants to make an upgrade here.

RB Dalvin Cook

Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin Cook. Photo: AP Photo/Mike Roemer

FB C.J. Ham

Minnesota Vikings fullback C.J. Ham. Photot: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports

LT Ezra Cleveland

Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland. Photo: AP Photo/David Berding

Analysis: At this point, I think Minnesota's best bet with the offensive line is to move Cleveland over to left tackle and have a rookie at a guard spot. Cleveland has a year of NFL experience already, so he seems more likely to do well than an early round draft choice this year. Unless the Vikings can land Penei Sewell or Rashawn Slater, I think the team should move Cleveland to tackle.

LG Mason Cole

Former Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Mason Cole. Photo: Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini

Analysis: The Vikings traded for Mason Cole this offseason. He mostly played center for the Cardinals, but he can also play guard. In terms of Minnesota's current offensive line, Cole seems the most likely to win this spot.

C Garrett Bradbury

Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury. Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

RG Kyle Hinton (or a rookie)

Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Kyle Hinton. Photo: AP Photo

Analysis: Hinton may have upside in his second NFL season. You'd have to think that the Vikings avoid starting Dru Samia after he struggled in 2020, but maybe Samia improves. I think Minnesota will most likely take a guard early and try to slot that rookie in right away.

RT Brian O'Neill

Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Brian O'Neill. Photo: AP Photo/David Berding

K Greg Joseph

Former Tennessee Titans kicker Greg Joseph. Syndication: Nashville

P Britton Colquitt

Minnesota Vikings punter Britton Colquitt. Photo: AP Photo/David Berding

LS Andrew DePaola

Minnesota Vikings long snapper Andrew Depaola. Photo: Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports

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