Rookies will report to Vikings training camp just a few days from now. As the first official practice of camp draws to a close, we’re going to take a look at some of the secret horse Vikings that could find their way onto the 53-man roster. This time, we’re on offense,
WR Malik Knowles
Wide receiver is believed to be possibly the deepest position on the Vikings’ roster in the 2023 season. As a result, it will be difficult for the UDFA to make it to the final 53-member roster. However, while Malik Knowles had limited receiving production during his career (caught 127 total receptions for 1867 yards and 14 TDs in five years at Kansas State), he brings a very interesting combination of size and athleticism that Could make him a playmaker in Kevin O’Connell’s offense.
The receiver had 36 carries for 440 yards and 4 TDs in his collegiate career, making him a threat in the backfield, and he is an explosive playmaker as a return man. Knowles returned 61 kicks for 1691 yards (27.7 yards per return average), and he returned three kicks for touchdowns. Keep an eye out for “do it all” receivers this summer.
WR Cephas Johnson III
Cephas Johnson is an interesting player to add to this Vikings roster considering he played most of his collegiate snaps at quarterback, and now, he is listed as a wide receiver for Minnesota. It’s an interesting fit, especially considering the Vikings are pretty deep at both the QB and WR positions right now, but the unknowns of what he could be at the NFL level could really help them.
The best-case scenario for Johnson may be that Minnesota sees him as a Tesum Hill-esque player who can do a little bit of everything for the team. It’s not necessarily an insane comparison. Hill is 6’2 and 221 pounds while Johnson is 6’5 and 225 pounds. The Vikings clearly see something in him as an athlete, and intrigue is what lands him on this list.
tee nick muse
Nick Muse was the only Vikings draft pick from the class of 2022 who did not make the initial 53-man roster, but following an ankle injury to Irv Smith, Muse was able to take the field in nine of Minnesota’s final 10 regular season games. Were. He didn’t play offensively at all last season, but he saw 108 snaps with special teams.
TJ Hockenson and Josh Oliver will occupy the TE1/2 spots this season, and Johnny Mundt should be considered the favorite for TE3. However, if Kevin O’Connell is going to continue the trend of running a Kyle Shanahan-esque offense, we could see Minnesota using more two-tight end sets this season. If that’s the case, there’s a reason to keep four tight ends on the roster at all times, and the Muses would be a favorite to make the cut.
OT Sam Schlueter
The Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line was depleted to the very end of their depth during 2022, with Garrett Bradbury, Blake Brandell, Christian Darrishaw, Brian O’Neal and Austin Schlotman all missing at some point in the season due to injury. Perhaps the front office and coaching staff want to avoid a similar situation in 2023 by keeping some extra O-linemen when the season begins.
Sam Schlueter was signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers last spring after playing his collegiate ball at the University of Minnesota. However, he did not make the roster and played zero snaps during his rookie season. That being said, he is a formidable tackle for run-blocking. Considering the Vikings put more emphasis on the running game in 2023, Schlueter could be one that could stick around.
Note: This article was originally published on our sister site PurplePTSD.