Minnesota Vikings: Early two deep 2016 depth chart

Aug 9, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings helmet on the field during the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 9, 2015; Canton, OH, USA; Minnesota Vikings helmet on the field during the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
7 of 8
Next
Dec 27, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) returns an interception for a touchdown during the second quarter against the New York Giants at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 27, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) returns an interception for a touchdown during the second quarter against the New York Giants at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive Secondary

Youth and experience seem to be a big combination for the position groups of the Minnesota Vikings. There are many young players developing their craft in hopes of future success, but the veterans are there to help guide them and hold down fort until the young guys are ready.

First Safety

  1. Harrison Smith
  2. Antone Exum

Locked up to a long-term deal, the Minnesota Vikings love Smith. His hard-hitting style coupled with the ability to rush the passer or play run support make him a fearsome part of the team’s defense. Exum has flashed brilliance since coming to the team, but will need to be more consistent.

Second Safety

  1. Michael Griffin
  2. Andrew Sendejo

This spot has been a struggle for the Vikings, as Sendejo showed last year that he shouldn’t be trusted with the starting gig. When Minnesota went into free agency and picked up Michael Griffin, the writing was on the wall for the end of the Sendejo period for the Vikings.

Left Cornerback

  1. Terence Newman
  2. Trae Waynes

Whether Newman or Waynes is named the starter, this spot is in good hands. Newman offers smart, veteran play while Waynes is still learning the intricacies of the position. The competition will boil down to just how ready Waynes is at becoming a starter.

Right Cornerback

  1. Xavier Rhodes
  2. Captain Munnerlyn

When healthy, Rhodes is a fringe shutdown corner. He hasn’t quite reached that level yet, but appears to have all the pieces to get there. Captain Munnerlyn will find a lot of playing time in 2016, as he will be filling in all over in the secondary.

Nickel Cornerback

  1. Captain Munnerlyn
  2. Mackensie Alexander

It’s hard not to love Alexander’s ability and inspirational story, but he won’t be called upon for the starting nickel corner gig unless he can beat out Captain Munnerlyn. Munnerlyn excelled last season after admitting to not following coaches instructions in 2014, so it is logical to expect more of the good version of the Captain this year.

Next: Special Teams