Thank you for sending questions for this week's Vikings mailbag. You can find answers here or answered by our crew on the weekly Access Vikings podcast. Submit questions on Twitter to @Andrew_Krammer or via email at email@example.com.
Q: Can you break down the receiver room past K.J. Osborn, who I assume is the No. 3? — @benolsonmn
AK: Every year under Sean McVay, the Rams have kept six receivers on the initial 53-man roster for their three receiver-heavy offense. Kevin O'Connell has said his Vikings offense can be more flexible, pointing to the two-back possibilities with fullback C.J. Ham. But the receiver room may become even more important with tight end Irv Smith Jr. on the mend again following thumb surgery. So let's assume they keep six receivers. That leaves three spots behind Osborn between Bisi Johnson, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Albert Wilson, Dan Chisena and Jalen Nailor. I'd bet on Johnson's experience and reliability earning him a spot. Whoever earns the punt returning job, especially if it's Smith-Marsette, Wilson or Nailor, will be locked in. Chisena has been a standout on special teams, where all the bottom-of-the-roster guys need to contribute. Wilson, the ninth-year veteran, likely needs to find a role on kick coverage or return teams if he's going to make it. One under-the-radar guy who looks poised for a practice squad spot is second-year receiver Trishton Jackson.
Q: How do the backup tight ends look? — @rogerpowers7
AK: Former Rams No. 2 tight end Johnny Mundt, who signed in free agency, is the going-away favorite to fill in for Smith should he miss any regular season time. Mundt is considered a strong run blocker with decent enough hands. Ben Ellefson, another adequate run blocker, could be Mundt's backup in that case. None of the tight ends can fill Smith's shoes as a vertical threat. Second-year tight end Zach Davidson is an intriguing project, but for now he's a split-out-wide, 6-foot-7-inch receiving target who is still learning the ropes as an in-line tight end.
Q: Percentage chance Garrett Bradbury is still our starting center Week 1? — @purplebloodmn
AK: Bradbury needs to show consistent technique in pass protection, according to O'Connell, that will help him anchor against nose tackle Harrison Phillips in practice and, if he gets this far in the starting lineup, against the Packers' Kenny Clark in Week 1. It's been a consistent struggle for Bradbury through one week of padded practices. For now, he continues to get all the reps with the starting offense as coaches try to groom veteran guard Chris Reed as the center with the second-team offense. There have been snapping issues with the backup centers and quarterbacks, too, which doesn't allow much confidence in the current replacement options. It feels like a coinflip at this point with O'Connell unwilling to say Bradbury is their starting center.
Q: How has first-round pick Lewis Cine looked? — @mark_lamanna68
AK: Cine just started getting consistent first-team reps this weekend next to Harrison Smith. With the uninspiring way that backup quarterbacks Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond have looked so far, there haven't been many downfield opportunities for Cine to show in coverage with the second-team defense. That should change if he gets to practice against Kirk Cousins more often moving forward. Second-year safety Camryn Bynum has made some splash plays in camp with the first-team defense, perhaps delaying Cine's run with the 1's. Bynum may be playing his way into a consistent subpackage role as a fifth or sixth defensive back.
Q: You have to make a bold prediction on a player that is more than outside of the bubble to make the 53. Who is it and why? — @jtmnskol
AK: Undrafted linebacker William Kwenkeu has been getting reps with the second-team defense at a position where Troy Dye, Chazz Surratt and Blake Lynch have more experience than him. Backup inside linebacker is one of the spots where the competition truly feels up in the air, and it wouldn't shock me if Kwenkeu earns a role on special teams as an older, 25-year-old rookie who looks built at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds to handle snaps immediately.
Q: What are the Vikings' plans for Brian Asamoah since he was taken so early in the draft when there was so much talent left on the board, including at linebacker? — @lakelife30_john
AK: Asamoah, the third-round pick, looks like a safety with his slighter build and No. 33 jersey. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said upon drafting him that he reminded the front office of Browns linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, the 2021 second-round pick who became an immediate impact player as a weak-side linebacker and unique cover man capable of running down plays left and right. Asamoah, at 6-foot and 226 pounds, has impressed coaches with his range in coverage and could earn a role in defensive subpackages geared toward stopping the pass. He won't be a full-time player at this point behind Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks, but there's potential for him to play in a pass-heavy league.