3. CB Mackensie Alexander
After a one-year hiatus with the Bengals (coincidentally), the Vikings brought Alexander back on a one-year deal this offseason. Pigeon-holing him as purely a slot corner is not right, but that is likely to be his primary role this year and he has become very good at it. As such, his Week 1 matchup is one to watch as well as a critical one for the Minnesota defense.
Quite simply, Tyler Boyd might be the most underrated wide receiver in the NFL. He primarily operates out of the slot, and he’s one of the best around at it. While other receivers grab more attention, even on his own team now, he just produces. If not for Burrow’s injury last year, Boyd would surely be entering 2021 with three straight 1,000-yard seasons and back-to-back 90-catch campaigns.
Alexander doesn’t have to shut Boyd out on Sunday for the Vikings to win the game. But if he can make it hard to operate, and help limit Boyd after the catch, that will suffice as the Bengals “No. 3” wide receiver likely sees 8-10 targets in the season opener.