No. 2: Inside Linebacker Fred Warner vs. Running Back Dalvin Cook
Star inside linebacker Reuben Foster will be suspended for the first two games of the season, so third-round rookie Fred Warner, one of my favorite 2018 draft picks, will start on the inside and attempt to stop the run.
Unfortunately, his first start will be against star running back Dalvin Cook.
Cook is a second-year player who flashed signs of brilliance in his rookie year before going down with a torn ACL. He has not gotten a lot of preseason action so far this year, but Vikings’ head coach Mike Zimmer claims that Cook is ready.
This does not bode well for Warner, as Cook is a special talent at running back. The rookie linebacker will also have to watch out for Latavius Murray, the Vikings’ primary power back. Murray is very good at running through defenders to reach the goal line and scoring short-yardage touchdowns in the red zone.
Hopefully that doesn’t happen this Sunday.