The upcoming battles at the Minnesota Vikings training camp will be compelling.
On offense, there are questions along the offensive line and with the receiver depth, issues that have plagued the Vikings for several seasons. On defense, there are open competitions along the defensive line and among the corners. Unlike past seasons, Mike Zimmer’s defense will need to adapt to several new starters.
In this series, we’ll offer a breakdown of the position groups. Each article will divide the players into four categories: Lock, Likely, Lofty, and Longshot. For the most part, these terms are self-explanatory. Even still, we’ll offer a brief explanation of our terms to try to undercut any confusion.
Roster Locks are the players who are seemingly guaranteed to make the roster, such as Danielle Hunter and Kirk Cousins. Unless something totally unforeseen happens, these players will not only make the final roster, but also be significant contributors.
The Likely category refers to players who will probably make the final roster, but who have legitimate questions surrounding their spot. For instance, a player in the Likely category may be a good player who has character concerns, a factor that brings some doubt into the equation. This category could also refer to players who are overpaid or getting older.
The Lofty category is the most complicated. There are different connotations for this word, so we should begin by explaining that we’re using it to describe players who are in a difficult, extended battle to secure a roster spot. In other words, these are players who must possess a Lofty ambition to make the Vikings final roster. Some good examples from last year’s team are Kris Boyd and Bisi Johnson, two late-round draft picks who made the team and contributed throughout the season.
The Longshots are those who face significant challenges in their quest to make the final roster.
The culmination of this series will be a complete, pre-training camp projection of the opening day roster. We will do another series of articles projecting the roster toward the end of training camp.
Our first installment will be published on Monday as we consider the defensive line.