The Vikings released their first depth chart of the 2022 season on Wednesday.
It's unofficial. Very unofficial.
Good example No. 1: Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion, locked in a battle to be Kirk Cousins' primary backup, are both listed as the No. 2 quarterback.
Good example No. 2: Asked about the ongoing competitions at the second starting spots at cornerback and safety, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said, "It's a little too early to tell anything, but we like what we see."
The unofficial depth chart still has second-year safety Cam Bynum ahead of rookie No. 1 draft pick Lewis Cine. It also has struggling third-year cornerback Cam Dantzler ahead of rookie second-round pick Andrew Booth Jr.
It would not be surprising to see the rookies eventually overtake both of the young veterans as starters before the Sept. 11 season opener against the Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.
"He's a focused, mature young guy," Donatell said. "He's focused every day on getting better. He's learning a lot of things. Our veterans are helping him. Harrison [Smith], Pat [Peterson] helping him along the way with the things he doesn't have. But we know when the pads go on, he's a very physical player. He's very sudden, very fast."
Offensively, the Vikings have only two starters listed on their depth chart who weren't starters in Week 1 a year ago: Tight end Irv Smith Jr. and right guard Jesse Davis.
Smith, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, is out until at least Week 1 of the regular season because of a thumb injury. His top backup on the depth chart is Johnny Mundt.
Davis has ruled the right guard competition in camp except for scheduled off days to rest his knee. Listed behind him on the depth chart is second-round pick Ed Ingram. Chris Reed is listed as the second-string left guard.
The offensive depth chart has the Vikings using a running back, fullback, tight end and two receivers. Listed as first backups at receiver are K.J. Osborn behind Adam Thielen and Ihmir Smith-Marsette behind Justin Jefferson.
Defensively, the Vikings list only five starters who were Vikings starters in Week 1 a year ago: Peterson, Harrison Smith, Danielle Hunter, Dalvin Tomlinson and Eric Kendricks.
Four new starters are listed in the front seven. Armon Watts, a holdover backup from last year's 4-3 defense, is one of the starting ends in the new 3-4. The other new starters — nose tackle Harrison Phillips, inside linebacker Jordan Hicks and edge rusher Za'Darius Smith — were acquired in the offseason.
One key area to watch among the backups is at edge rusher, where Hunter and Za'Darius Smith are All-Pro-caliber players but also missed a combined 26 games with injuries last season. Listed first behind Hunter is Patrick Jones II, who played nine games with no starts as a rookie last year. First behind Smith is D.J. Wonnum, who started 14 games with eight sacks last season.
Other observations from Wednesday's practice …
- Cine, who had an excused absence from Monday night's practice, was back practicing.
- Ingram split time with Jesse Davis at right guard with the first team.
- Ingram stoked the fans during individual work by leading them in the Skol chant from the sideline nearest the stands. The 6-3, 307-pounder also became possibly the largest person ever to do the "Griddy" dance.
- Reed missed practice. Also missing practice were cornerback Akayleb Evans and receiver Dan Chisena, who both missed practice on Monday as well, and defensive lineman Jullian Taylor, who now has a cast on his left hand.
- Cousins was intercepted by Bynum and Hicks during 11-on-11 work.
- Practice ended with the second-team defense winning a situational period because receiver Albert Wilson dropped what should have been an easy red-zone touchdown. Mannion hit Wilson with a strike between the numbers.