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Projected 2014 starters: Minnesota Vikings

Around The League predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. Click here for the complete series breakdown.

Minnesota Vikings Projected 2014 Starters
Offense
Defense
QB
DE
RB
DT
WR1
DT
WR2
DE
WR3
SLB
TE
WLB
LT
CB1
LG
CB2
C
CB3
RG
SS
RT
FS


» The Around The League staff is split on whether Teddy Bridgewater will start in Week 1. I expect Matt Cassel to win the job, although Bridgewater will get first-team reps right away in offseason OTAs. Cassel is more of a legitimate NFL starter than guys like Brian Hoyer or Ryan Fitzpatrick. Bridgewater could benefit from time on the sidelines, and my guess is the Vikings will want to see if they can survive with Cassel for a while.

» Jarius Wright got the nod over Jerome Simpson, who could be suspended to start the season for various off-field issues. Wright has a higher ceiling as a speedster out of the slot and the Vikings have tried to move on from Simpson for years.

» The toughest position to decide here was whether to list a No. 3 cornerback or a third linebacker as a starter. The Vikings lack promising options at both positions. Josh Robinson got the nod as the team's third cornerback over free-agent pickup Derek Cox. Munnerlyn and Rhodes should start, with Munnerlyn moving inside in the team's nickel situation.

» Audie Cole and Jasper Brinkley will compete for snaps at middle linebacker in Minnesota's early down formations. Either way, we can't imagine No. 9 pick Anthony Barr coming off the bench for even one week.

» Barr could be ticketed for a Von Miller-like role in Minnesota's defense. We're excited to see how Mike Zimmer uses him.

» Minnesota's defensive line has a shot to be among the league's best. Everson Griffen and Brian Robison comprise a solid pass rushing duo in their respective primes. Sharrif Floyd will be a starter for the first time, and Linval Joseph was a solid free-agent acquisition. Zimmer has always done a nice job carving out roles for linemen that play to their strengths.

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