3. Who are one player on the offensive and one player on defense who could make an impact that Vikings fans may not be as familiar with?
PB: On offense, it is second-year tight end, Jace Sternberger. Sternberger would miss about half of his rookie season with an injury and when he was on the field he was primarily used as a blocker. Although there were a few instances where he was able to show an ability to get open. He has good speed and he’s able to line up all over the formation, making him a “matchup problem” as GM Brian Gutekunst put it. In Matt LaFleur’s offense, the tight end plays an important role, and if given the opportunities, I expect Sternbreger to capitalize.
Defensively, I’m going to cheat a little since this player is probably known among Viking nation, but second-year edge-rusher Rashan Gary had a fantastic camp. Last season with Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith, Gary was used sparingly. But this year, he’s faster, stronger, and there weren’t many days that went by where we didn’t hear how good he looked on the practice field. Now, that has to translate to regular-season action, but if it does, the combination of Gary, The Smiths, and Kenny Clark is downright terrifying for opposing offenses.
For a lesser-known name, I’ll choose Chandon Sullivan, who will take over the primary slot duties that Tramon Williams held in 2019. Albeit in limited action, Sullivan was excellent in coverage last season and has also shown that he can hold his own against the run as well.
My Take: Fans of the Vikings know to expect a strong pass rush from the Packers. Plus, with the lack of rookie receivers for Aaron Rodgers this year, it isn’t tough to imagine that Green Bay will find several targets and spread the ball around.