Puzzling choice made in recent projected starting lineup for 2024 Vikings

Andrew Booth Jr.
Andrew Booth Jr. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory minicamp is over for the Minnesota Vikings and training camp will give fans a lot more information about the team and players heading into the 2024 NFL season. For now, there will be a lot of speculation about the roster and starters.

A lot can happen between the offseason and the start of the regular season but that won't stop fans and the media from trying to guess everything about the upcoming year, including roster, starting lineup, record, award-winners, and much more.

The accuracy of those guesses is likely not good, but those types of articles can get a fan base talking and help the excitement grow for the upcoming year of Vikings football even if the projections are mind-boggling at the time.

Puzzling choice made in recent projected starting lineup for 2024 Vikings

Pro Football Focus is a well-respected media organization. However, their recent article projecting the starters for all 32 NFL teams has a few choices that are likely to leave some of the fans more familiar with the Vikings baffled.

There are a few interesting choices. Here are a few:

Listing J.J. McCarthy as Minnesota's starting quarterback over Sam Darnold is a bit premature since Darnold is likely the Week 1 starter. Still, the rookie will likely get an opportunity to start in 2024.

On the offensive line, there were some rumblings about Blake Brandel being listed as the team's starting left guard despite signing Dalton Risner. PFF got this right, as Brandel seems to be penciled in as the Vikings' starter for now.

Defensively, PFF has new arrival Jerry Tillery as one of two defensive linemen listed as starters with three edge rushers. Tillery will need to prove he can beat out the other defensive linemen in order to secure a starting job.

PFF's most puzzling projection by far came in the defensive secondary. Starting safeties Harrison Smith and Camryn Bynum are likely locks as starters with Byron Muphy and Makhi Blackmon at cornerback.

The surprise is cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. is listed as the extra defensive back instead of safety/Swiss army knife Josh Metellus. It would be great if Booth could step into a starting role and play at a high level in 2024, but Metellus has shown himself to be a strong piece of Brian Flores' unit.

Metellus played 94 percent of the Minnesota Vikings' defensive snaps in 2023. To think he wouldn't be on the field as a starter as an extra defensive back in 2024 is a bit curious. Meanwhile, Booth only saw 13 percent of the team's defensive snaps and it would be surprising to see him jump into a starting role this season.