From J.J. McCarthy to Lewis Cine: Notes on all 90 Vikings players after minicamp


Now is the perfect time to take stock of the Minnesota Vikings roster.

Training camp won’t begin for more than a month. Mostly, staffers and players have escaped Minnesota for exotic tropical locations.

What better time, then, to check the status of all 90 players on the roster? Here’s how they fared this spring:

Offense

QB Sam Darnold: Looked sharp. Might have thrown only one interception in mandatory minicamp, and that might have been a byproduct of a poor route by his receiver.

QB J.J. McCarthy: Think of his first few months as your first few months taking a foreign language. Why rush? Why overreact? Show up, make mistakes, learn, then show up again.

QB Nick Mullens: Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Some beautiful throws — and some that made head coach Kevin O’Connell shake his head.

QB Jaren Hall: More refined than last year. Does not have a lot of velocity, but knows he’s the No. 4 and knows his role as a good teammate.

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RB Aaron Jones: Motivated and hungry to stick it to his former team. You can see it, even if he hasn’t said it.

RB Ty Chandler: A locker room favorite. The players think he can be great. Having Jones as a mentor, counterpart and friend is a hugely positive factor.

RB DeWayne McBride: His roster spot or practice squad role may hinge on his performance in preseason games.

RB Myles Gaskin: Trusted veteran who the staff would have no problem playing.

RB Kene Nwangwu: Missed training camp last year due to a back injury. He is healthy now, but do the coaches think he can stay healthy, especially as a returner amid the new kickoff rules? It’s uncertain.

FB C.J. Ham: Sneaky solid third-down pass protector. Vikings used 21 personnel 7.3 percent of the time last year, and that number could jump in 2024.

WR Justin Jefferson: Deservedly wealthy.

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WR Jordan Addison: Trying to think of a nickname for him. Any thoughts? He’s quiet but capable of extreme torture on defenses. No member of the Vikings was more captivating to watch glide across the practice field this spring. I’m buying stock in his future.

WR Brandon Powell: Reliable until tush-pushing. But a No. 3 receiver? If so, who returns punts/kicks? A major question.

WR Jalen Nailor: Intriguing when healthy. Injured too often to have faith in him as the No. 3 receiver.

WR Trishton Jackson: Oft-injured, but in many ways a football equivalent of AAAA baseball prospect. So enticing at times.

WR Trent Sherfield Sr.: Big-bodied but not fleet of foot. It’s hard to see him sliding into the No. 3 receiver role.

WR Lucky Jackson: Could quietly contend for a roster spot.

WR Malik Knowles: The Vikings kept him around for a reason, but he did not flash much this spring.

WR Ty James: Practice squad option.

WR Thayer Thomas: An awesome walk-on story (NC State) who his teammates appreciate. Another practice squad competitor.

WR Jeshaun Jones: A fluid receiver, but two years older than Addison with an injury history. Practice squad.

TE T.J. Hockenson: Jogged on the side field this spring. Likely to miss some time at the beginning of the season, but I still wouldn’t bet against him putting up 1,000 yards.

TE Josh Oliver: Signed for his run-blocking ability. Displayed it early in 2023. Probably not a primary pass catcher.

TE Johnny Mundt: Find someone who loves you like O’Connell loves Mundt.

TE Robert Tonyan: Would not be blown away if he was the No. 3 most targeted Vikings pass catcher until Hockenson returns. This spring, he was that frisky.

TE Nick Muse: Another locker room favorite. Underwent knee surgery this spring, but is expected back for training camp.

TE N’Keal Harry: The most obvious position change ever. His body type screams tight end.

TE Trey Knox: Fighting for a practice squad spot.

TE Sammis Reyes: He is a native of Chile … and that’s about all I’ve got.

T Christian Darrisaw: Could have missed OTAs or mandatory minicamp in pursuit of a new contract, but he didn’t. Everything you want in a 25-year-old left tackle.

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G Blake Brandel: The staff thinks he’s capable of starting. Watch him at both left guard and right guard.

G Dalton Risner: Another option at left and right guard. The lack of free agent offers should light a fire during training camp.

G Ed Ingram: Improved in 2023 but inconsistent. Has work to do to continue starting at right guard.

C Garrett Bradbury: Don’t underestimate the value of his system experience with new quarterbacks. He has produced more each year, and the Vikings hope that continues.

T Brian O’Neill: Should be better another year removed from partially torn Achilles. This is an important season considering his contract is not fully guaranteed for 2025.

OL Dan Feeney: Award-winning mullet/mustache combination and is capable of playing in a pinch.

OL David Quessenberry: Such a bonus to have a reliable swing tackle like Quessenberry, whose story — he overcame cancer — should be celebrated.

OL Walter Rouse: Getting his feet wet. If he has to play as a rookie, the offensive line absences will become a grave concern.

OL Michael Jurgens: The Vikings felt he could be an eventual starter when they drafted him this spring. Facing defensive coordinator Brian Flores’ unit in training camp should test his mettle.

OL Tyrese Robinson: Rounds out the offensive line depth. Went undrafted in 2023 and plays on the interior.

OL Henry Byrd: Practice squad option.

OL Doug Nester: Undrafted rookie who will be vying for a practice squad spot.

OL Spencer Rolland: Undrafted rookie competing with Nester.

OL Jeremy Flax: Undrafted rookie competing with Nester and Rolland.

Defense

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Cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. will be one of the leaders of the Vikings secondary this fall. (Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

DL Harrison Phillips: Altered his offseason preparation to be more pliable and able to withstand a big workload. Worth keeping an eye on in a contract year.

DL Jonathan Bullard: Still a run-stopping specialist.

DL Jerry Tillery: How Flores uses Tillery will be fascinating. He is imposing, and you can understand why he was a first-rounder.

DL Jonah Williams: Competing for a depth spot. Was fairly inconspicuous in minicamp.

DL James Lynch: Tore his ACL last fall but is back. He has more wiggle than most defensive linemen on this roster but is likely battling for a back-end roster spot.

DL Levi Drake Rodriguez: The team loves him already. Improving against the run has been and will continue to be the focus, but you cannot teach his motor.

DL Jaquelin Roy: Further along than Esezi Otomewo was after one season. Flores will give him premium chances in training camp.

DL Taki Taimani: Competing for the practice squad.

DL Tyler Manoah: Competing with Taimani for the practice squad.

DL Jalen Redmond: Undrafted in 2023, he played in the UFL for the Arlington Renegades, recording 4 1/2 sacks in four games.

Edge Jonathan Greenard: The anchor of the Vikings’ edge-rushing group. Created a spring tradition of post-practice situps. Engaging and will be a fan favorite.

Edge Andrew Van Ginkel: Rehabbing a Lisfranc injury, but is a key chess piece for Flores to be as versatile as possible.

Edge Dallas Turner: “Built in a lab,” Greenard said. I expect him to be rushing the opposing passer in Week 1.

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Edge Patrick Jones II: Still missing advanced pass-rush technique, but still an interesting canvas.

Edge Jihad Ward: Insurance in the event of injury. Another player who might pop in training camp practices.

Edge Gabriel Murphy: Lack of full-speed defensive reps limited a full evaluation, but he’ll be interesting to watch in training camp. Athletically gifted.

Edge Owen Porter: Vying for a roster spot. Capable on special teams, which matters.

Edge Bo Richter: Injured this spring. A practice squad competitor.

LB Ivan Pace Jr.: Potential green dot for Flores. Still blasphemous he went undrafted. Not just a contributor, but a difference maker.

LB Blake Cashman: A perfect coverage linebacker for Flores who’s capable of dropping and ranging more than Jordan Hicks did.

LB Kamu Grugier-Hill: Likely the primary backup in the event of injury.

LB Brian Asamoah: Special teams contributor when healthy and was available this spring.

LB Abraham Beauplan: The staff likes him. Practice squad to start, but don’t be shocked if he is elevated this year.

LB Dallas Gant: Undrafted rookie, competing for a practice squad spot.

LB K.J. Cloyd: Picked off McCarthy in his first practice, and that might remain his claim to fame.

CB Shaq Griffin: Walked like a leader all spring. Should exponentially help the Vikings in coverage, allowing Byron Murphy to move inside in nickel.

CB Byron Murphy Jr.: Appeared energetic all spring. Would not surprise me to see him put up a career year.

CB Mekhi Blackmon: The team’s third-best corner right now. Participated with the starters all spring.

CB Khyree Jackson: Was not present much during mandatory minicamp, but he’ll receive plenty of chances to prove his value this fall.

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CB Akayleb Evans: The Vikings are not likely to lean on him this year as much as last.

CB Dwight McGlothern Jr.: Interesting potential and a surefire practice squad option with upside.

CB Jaylin Williams: Feistier than most of the Vikings’ youngsters at the position but not refined.

CB Andrew Booth Jr.: Fighting uphill to earn a roster spot.

CB A.J. Green III: Massive for a corner but likely a practice squad contributor.

S Harrison Smith: Legend.

S Cam Bynum: Does not get enough credit for his consistency.

S Josh Metellus: Call him the toolbox. He is everything the Vikings defense needs when it needs it.

S Theo Jackson: He has Minnesota covered in the event of injury at safety.

S Jay Ward: The Vikings would not cringe if he had to play. He looked like one of the most explosive defenders on the roster this spring.

S NaJee Thompson: Switched positions, but his value remains in his special teams prowess. Likely to make the roster.

S Lewis Cine: Like Booth, he has a mountain to climb.

Specialists

K Will Reichard: The kicker equivalent of a scratch golfer. When he mis-hits, you are surprised. Was everything the Vikings hoped he’d be this spring — and then some.

K John Parker Romo: Huge leg but not nearly as consistent as Reichard.

P Ryan Wright: Slimmed down this spring but has not run away with the job. Locked in competition for training camp.

P Seth Vernon: Has an unmistakable leg. Will push Wright and might even win the job.

LS Andrew DePaola: Operates a bagel shop in Maryland and simultaneously earns All-Pro honors.

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(Top photo of, L to R, Nick Mullens, J.J. McCarthy and Sam Darnold: Adam Bettcher / Getty Images)





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