Buy or sell: Vikings training camp storylines

Week one is almost upon us, and the Vikings will be hosting their rivals the Green Bay Packers . To say this offseason has been a weird one due to  COVID-19 is an understatement, but there are still plenty of storylines to talk about. Ranging from Bisi Johnson to third round rookies, let’s dive into which stories are bogus and which are spot on. 


Cameron Dantzler as a week one starter.

Cameron Dantzler has been a pleasant surprise in Vikings camp, but it really should not be a surprise to any of his followers. Dantzler was one of the best cornerbacks in college football last year, and fell to the third round of the draft because of combine testing. He has repeatedly made plays with the first string starters, and seems to have beat first round rookie Jeff gladney for a starting spot. 

Adam Thielen is still a top ten talent.

To Vikings fans this was never a question, but in the NFL, one injury plagued year will knock you down a couple notches in the positional rankings. Thielen has shown all camp that he still has the speed and route running to defeat any defender. He has a chance to repeat his monstrous 2018 season.

Vikings defensive line depth is in bad shape

Without Danielle Hunter in the lineup the Vikings defensive line looks very pedestrian, but that was the expectation when losing Griffen, Joseph, and Weatherly in the same offseason. It has been nice to hear that Jaleel Johnson has been performing well, but news has been slow on all the rookie pass rushers and free agents signed to fill the holes left by the fan favorites.

Irv Smith Jr Breakout season 

If  Irv Smith Jr wasn’t sharing snaps with Kyle Rudolph he may have already had his breakout season, but now he is expected to take over the tight-end room. Last season Smith Jr showed several flashes of Elite receiving  skills and that continued right into camp. The addition of Gary Kubiak was expected to bring more opportunities for Smith Jr, and battling Eric Kendricks in camp will get him ready to dominate lesser linebackers during the season.


Bisi Johnson breakout season.

Olabisi Johnson has made several plays in camp, and iIt has people excited, but the hype train may not go as far as many may think. Johnson brings the same skill set as Thielen, Sharpe , and Jefferson, with less athleticism. Adding in that Irv Smith Jr looks primed for an increase in targets, there won’t be enough targets to go around. In a run heavy offense Johnson will see a lot of his targets go to someone who can stretch the field better than he can. 

The Vikings improved the offensive line.

Gary Kubiak had a lot of praise for Pat Elflein, and Dakota Dozier, and none of the fans are buying it. Both guards did not perform well last season, and that is expected to continue. It has been reported that  second round rookie Ezra Cleveland has been seen taking third team snaps, which isn’t inspiring either. It is likely to be another season of poor offensive line play for Minnesota. 

The Vikings defense expected  to have a down season. 

Football “experts” are not expecting the Vikings defense to have a good season, and it’s not a far-fetched idea to think so. The Vikings lost five defensive starters in one offseason, and had their big ticket free agent opt out due to COVID-19. There has never been a better time to examine the impact of

Mike Zimmer on this defense. The Vikings still have All Pro level players at every level of the defense, add in Zimmer’s expertise and the Vikings defense may even improve from last season.