Even after shocking the world to reach the NFC Divisional Round in last year's playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings are going to have a much different team heading into the 2020 regular season. Names like Stefon Diggs and Everson Griffen are one of many players no longer on the roster, and entering are an unprecedented 15 draft selections. That means there's going to be a lot of competition once training camp commences.
In terms of the most important position battles, here are three that are worth watching in Vikings camp this summer.
3. Wide Receiver
The Vikings saw the writing on the wall with Stefon Diggs, who seemingly grew more disgruntled by the day. So they traded him to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a premier package of draft picks. one of which was used to select LSU wideout Justin Jefferson in the first round. Now, the Vikings have to mesh their depth chart around Jefferson and Adam Thielen. The Vikes have Olabisi Johnson and Chad Beebe returning, but the team did add Tajae Sharpe via the open market and Miami's KJ Osborn in the fifth round. Minnesota is in contend mode, and they need to ensure they provide Kirk Cousins with the right weapons on offense to let him do his thing. From there, we'll find out if trading Diggs was the right decision in the long run.
2. Defensive End
Griffen is no longer a Viking. While the team hasn't ruled out a potential return, the odds of that happening are pretty slim. Minnesota has Danielle Hunter to provide pressure off the edge, but they need to find him the perfect partner. Ifeadi Odenigbo was a great option off the bench for the Vikings last season (13 quarterback hits, seven sacks), but it remains to be seen if he can put up similar production with more defensive snaps. Odenigbo could receive some pressure from rookie DJ Wonnum, who was projected to be Griffen's replacement in Minnesota. Head coach Mike Zimmer knows that a defense can succeed with a potent pass rush. That alone alleviates the pressure off of a team's linebackers and defensive backs. Zimmer has to put in the right guy to pair with Hunter for that to happen.
The Vikings cornerback crew was brutal last season, leading to the team cut ties with Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander. Entering 2020, Mike Hughes will be the No. 1 corner in Minnesota. Last season, Hughes allowed 41 receptions for 484 yards and three touchdowns on 67 targets. It was a less-than-ideal year for Hughes, so he'll need as much help as he can get in 2020. The Vikings used two of their many draft picks on corners Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler, who could earn starter's reps at some point in 2020. It's quite possible it could come as early as the end of training camp, but that's only if they impress in drills. If not, expect Holton Hill to earn the No. 2 corner spot due to familiarity with Zimmer's defense.