Minnesota Vikings: Projecting starters for the 2021 season

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /


  • QB: Kirk Cousins
  • RB: Dalvin Cook
  • FB: C.J. Ham
  • WR: Adam Thielen
  • WR: Justin Jefferson
  • TE: Irv Smith Jr.

Normally, this section would be divided into more sections. However, there just aren’t any situations that would likely lead to one of these players losing their starting job outside of a major injury or legal issue during the offseason or preseason.

Despite drafting Kellen Mond in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, Kirk Cousins is clearly the man in Minnesota. He will offer mentorship to the young quarterback while continuing to play at a high level behind a newly configured offensive line.

The running game will remain a constant as well. Dalvin Cook is one of the best all-around halfbacks in the NFL and is a threat to score every time he carries the ball or catches a pass out of the backfield. With his trusty blocker C.J. Ham there to help, this could be one of Cook’s best years yet.

A receiving duo of Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen should strike fear into the hearts of opposing defenses. Last year, Thielen was a red-zone threat, racking up touchdowns while Justin Jefferson racked up yardage through the air and after the catch.

Finally, the only real change from last year in this grouping is the tight end. Irv Smith Jr. moves from backup duty to starter after the release of Kyle Rudolph. Smith will have a chance to prove he can continue to pick up yards after the catch while making great blocks for his teammates.