An early look at the Vikings’ top 2019 training camp battles

(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) Brandon Zylstra
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) Brandon Zylstra /
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly /

Defensive End

The Vikings are three deep at the top of their defensive end depth chart. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen should be the starters with 2018 breakout player, Stephen Weatherly the next man up. After that it gets interesting.

Tashawn Bower, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Ade Aruna, Karter Schult, and Stacy Keeley are the ones worth mentioning who fill out the rest of the defensive end depth chart.

Bower made the team a season ago, but he did little with the opportunity. He appeared in only five games and had just six total tackles.

Aruna returns from suffering that horrifying injury a season ago and he is very much a question mark.

Odenigbo is back with the team after getting released by Minnesota and Cleveland Browns a season ago. He has shown flashes in the past, and a good camp could land him on the roster.

The last couple of guys on the depth chart are real dark horses to make the team. But the Vikings obviously must have seen something in them to sign them.

Schult is a former AAF star who had seven sacks in that short-lived league. He has learned to scrap and fight and he could have the motivation to outwork the rest of these guys.

Keeley was a guy who the team signed after seeing him at rookie minicamp this year where he had a tryout. He clearly impressed Minnesota’s coaches in that short time and he is someone to keep an eye on.

The Vikings ended up keeping only four defensive ends a season ago and if they stick with that formula in 2019, this battle will be very intense. There are five guys vying for potentially one spot with no clear favorite in the mix. This will be a fun one to watch as training camp unfolds.