Minnesota Vikings: Way-too-early 53-man roster projection

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /

Linebackers (6)

  • Anthony Barr
  • Ryan Connelly
  • Troy Dye
  • Eric Kendricks
  • Cameron Smith
  • Chazz Surratt

It will be great to see Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks back on the field together for the 2021 NFL season, but the depth past them is questionable at best and the third starting spot is up for grabs among the remaining players.

Ryan Connelly flashed a little while filling in at linebacker last year, but Troy Dye also filled in well at times. Getting some snaps last year should give them the leg up in the competition, but the team will probably miss Eric Wilson, who left the team in free agency.

Chazz Surratt is physically gifted but will need some time to develop as a linebacker due to limited experience playing at the position. He should be considered a work in progress, but will automatically be an interesting addition to the unit.

The feelgood story of the linebacker corps is Cameron Smith, who is returning to the team after discovering he needed heart surgery during COVID-19 testing last year. Now that he will be returning to the team, it will be his opportunity to prove he was worth a fifth-round selection last year.