5 major differences to expect from the Vikings in 2021

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Danielle Hunter /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /

What are some major differences we can expect to see from the Minnesota Vikings in 2021?

It will probably be a relief for Mike Zimmer to get his roster back down to business in the coming weeks at training camp ahead of the 2021 season. To say it’s been a dramatic offseason of player comings and goings would be understating things slightly, which sees the roster looking a lot stronger now than it did at any stage in 2020.

That will count for nothing if the Vikings leave themselves too much to do with a slow start once again. They cannot afford the sluggish opening that cost them in a big way last season, with a potential NFC North title challenge not out of the question if everything clicks into place right away.

It’s hard to look at Minnesota’s current options with anything other than encouragement. Some positional groups need to step up their respective contributions, but hopes are high for improvements across the board.

With this in mind, here are five big changes we can expect to see from the Vikings in 2021.

Difference No. 1

Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Ezra Cleveland /

Youthful protection

At least from the outside looking in, the Vikings appear to have some young, dynamic offensive linemen to call upon heading into the new campaign. Mike Zimmer would be wise to give the young guys a chance to shine together, rather than going back to less productive players such as Dakota Dozier and Dru Samia just because of their experience in the system.

Riley Reiff’s departure was offset by the arrival of first-round pick Christian Darrisaw, who looks set to provide a long-term bookend presence alongside stud right tackle Brian O’Neill.

Couple this with a potential guard pairing of Ezra Cleveland and Wyatt Davis, things might be looking up for the Vikings in an area of the field that came with some complications last time around.