Takeaways from the Vikings offseason workout program

The Minnesota Vikings offseason workout program is over, with the team holding its ninth and final practice of organized team activities on Wednesday.

The Vikings now get a little more than five weeks off, with training camp starting July 27 on Back Together Weekend across the NFL. Kevin O’Connell said there will be two weeks of practices in a variety of formats and intensities to shape position battles. Jobs will be won in the preseason, joint practices at Cleveland and when first and second team players hit the field for team situations.

Herer are takeaways from what we saw during OTAs and mandatory mini camp.


Fans coming to training camp hoping to see a quarterback competition will more than likely be disappointed. O’Connell said Wednesday Sam Darnold will be the No. 1 quarterback after signing a one-year, $10 million deal to come to Minnesota. He was a No. 3 overall pick, and worked extensively as the first-team quarterback. The Vikings traded up to No. 10 to get J.J. McCarthy, but they’re in no hurry to make him the starter. He split second-team plays with Nick Mullens during practices. He’ll spend the next five weeks working out at TCO Performance Center, mastering the playbook and getting in a little golf.

Barring a Darnold injury, McCarthy will most likely not be playing this season.


Four spots are all but set in stone on the offensive line between Garrett Bradbury, Christian Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill and Ed Ingram. There’s a competition at left guard. Blake Brandel got most of the first-team reps in offseason practices. After waiting for the phone to ring in free agency, Dalton Risner returned on a one-year deal. Risner made 11 starts last year and was solid in pass protection. He provides depth, which you cannot have too much of in the trenches.


The Vikings’ defense will have a bit of a new look this year, with no Danielle Hunter, D.J. Wonnum and Jordan Hicks. Ivan Pace Jr. might get the green dot duties after an impressive rookie season. The Vikings added Jonathan Greenard, Blake Cashman, Andrew Van Ginkel and Shaq Griffin. We did not see much of Van Ginkel in practice as he rehabbed an injury. Cashman and Greenard looked the part, and will be worth watching at training camp.


With T.J. Hockenson rehabbing knee surgery and Nick Muse out injured, Johnny Mundt, Josh Oliver and Robert Tonyan got the tight end reps. Tonyan, who came to Minnesota after five seasons in Green Bay and one in Chicago, made every play there was to make in OTAs. He adds proven depth to the tight end room


The Packers tried to get Aaron Jones to take a pay cut for the second straight year. He said no, and they cut him. Jones signed with the Vikings after Alexander Mattison’s release, and Jones is poised to lead the running back room with Ty Chandler, and possibly Kene Nwangwu. Jones caught plenty of targets out of the backfield in workouts, after making 30 catches last year with the Packers. The knock on Jones has been his inability to stay healthy. He made 11 starts las year, and has started every game in a season twice in his career, 2019 and 2022.


One of the few position battles there will be at training camp is at the No. 3 receiver spot behind Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. The job is Brandon Powell’s to lose, and he’ll get pushed by Jalen Nailor, Trishton Jackson and Trent Sherfield.


For whatever the reason, Greg Joseph left the Vikings in free agency and is now with the Packers. The Vikings currently have two kickers on the roster, John Parker Romo and rookie Will Reichard. Two players competing for one spot, and Joseph gave the Vikings stability at a position that had lacked it before him.