Minnesota Vikings: Projecting the 53 Man Roster

Jan 31, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; Minnesota Vikings mascot Viktor watches cheerleaders perform during the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 31, 2016; Honolulu, HI, USA; Minnesota Vikings mascot Viktor watches cheerleaders perform during the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Now that we have seen a close to the heavy lifting in the NFL offseason, here is my projection of who will make the Minnesota Vikings final 53 man roster.

As rookie mini-camp ends, it is easy to see there is going to be a lot of competition and position battles throughout this roster during this offseason. It will be interesting to see what happens and who makes the cut.

I predict that we will make some cuts that some fans will not see coming. Having so little holes on this roster is something Vikings fans have not seen in a long time. Let’s look at each position group to see what my prediction is on who will last.


Currently on the team: Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill, Taylor Heinicke, Joel Stave

Projected to make final cut(2): Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill

Analysis: Last season the team went into the season with 3 QB’s. This season I think we will go with two because we need a roster spot for another position group. Last season when Bridgewater went out in the game against St. Louis, the Vikings staff should have seen that we needed a better backup option than Hill. I was hoping that we would grab a free agent backup, or maybe draft a wild card QB in the later rounds. For the price Brian Hoyer signed for in Chicago, that would have been a backup option that I would have felt a lot more comfortable with in case something bad happened.


Currently on the team: Adrian Peterson, Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon, Jhurrell Pressley, Brandon Ross, Zach Line, Blake Renaud

Projected to make final cut(4): Adrian Peterson, Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon, Zach Line

Analysis: This will remain the same as it was last year. This year we will see another step forward from Jerick McKinnon. He built good chemistry with Bridgewater last season. We can expect the same Adrian. He is a different kind of player. I think last years vacation might have added two extra years of him in his prime. I think we are going to see a different kind of offense this season.

Offensive Line

Currently on the team: Matt Khalil, Phil Loadholt, Andre Smith, Willie Beavers, Alex Boone, Brandon Fusco, Michael Harris, Joe Berger, John Sullivan, Nick Easton, Zac Kerin, TJ Clemmings, Austin Sheppard, Jeremiah Sirles

Projected to make the final cut(9): Matt Khalil, Phil Loadholt, Andre Smith, John Sullivan, Alex Boone, Brandon Fusco, Michael Harris, Joe Berger, TJ Clemmings

Analysis: My guess for the starting 5 would be Khalil, Boone, Sully, Fusco, Smith. I have heard rumblings that if Loadholt is healthy, he could start at RT and Smith could push inside to Guard. I think the signing of Boone will strengthen that left side and do wonders for Khalil. I expect this line to look nothing like it did last year. The fourth round draft pick, Beavers, played tackle in college but is projected to be a guard in the NFL. My guess is that he will be on the practice squad this year.

Wide Receiver

Currently on the team: Stefon Diggs, Isaac Fruechte, Charles Johnson, Marken Michel, Cordarrelle Patterson, Terrell Sinkfield, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell, Jarius Wright, Moritz Boehringer

Projected to make the final cut(6): Stefon Diggs, Laquon Treadwell, Jarius Wright, Cordarrelle Patterson, Charles Johnson, Adam Thielen

Analysis: This position group will not change much from last year. Vikings first-round draft pick, Laquon Treadwell, will replace the recently opened roster spot with the departure of Mike Wallace. This year will be a make or break year for Patterson. Supposedly he has been working very hard this offseason, as he knows this is his last chance. He will make the team purely off his contribution to the special teams unit. The wildcard here is Boehringer. He has all the measurables, but will it translate to the next level. I could see him making the team if he could somehow contribute on special teams. But, who loses their spot if he does? Or do the Vikings take on seven wide receivers on their roster?

Tight End

Currently on the team: Kyle Rudolph, Kyle Carter, Rhett Ellison, Brian Leonhardt, David Morgan, Mycole Pruitt

Projected to make the final cut(4): Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison, Mycole Pruitt, David Morgan

Analysis: The Vikings kept four tight ends last year. With the loss of Chase Ford, that opens up the spot for David Morgan. He will make the team purely on his blocking skills. He will be good insurance in case of injury.

Defensive Tackle

Currently on the team: Linval Joseph, Shariff Floyd, Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen, Theiren Cockran, Kenrick Ellis, Isame Faciane, Toby Johnson

Projected to make the final cut(4): Linval Joseph, Shariff Floyd, Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen

Analysis: The backups in this group will be important as we lost Joseph last year for a number of games. If he can stay healthy all season, this group should be as strong as ever.Defensive End

Currently on the team: Scott Crichton, B.J. Dubose, Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Zach Moore, Brian Robison, Justin Trattou

Projected to make the final cut(4): Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Brian Robison, Justin Trattou

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Analysis: We will roll with the same members that we did last season minus Crichton. We will use his spot to take on another player in another position group.

Line Backer

Currently on the team: Anthony Barr, Audie Cole, Jake Ganus, Chad Greenway, Eric Kendricks, Edmond Robinson, Brandon Watts, Kentrell Brothers, Emmanuel Lamur, Travis Lewis, Stephen Weatherly

Projected to make the final cut(6): Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Chad Greenway, Audie Cole, Emmanuel Lamur, Kentrell Brothers

Analysis: With the team addressing this position group in both free agency and the draft, there will be some new blood this year. This also being the last year for Chad Greenway, this year will be the tryout for someone to step in and take his spot next season. Brothers was one of the best inside linebackers in college football last year and could let Kendricks move back to the outside. I am excited to see our linebacker corps this year.

Corner Back

Currently on the team: Keith Baxter, Captain Munnerlyn, Terence Newman, Jabari Price, Eric Rawls, Xavier Rhodes, Marcus Sherels, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander

Projected to make the final cut(6): Xavier Rhodes, Captain Munnerlyn, Terence Newman, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Marcus Sherels

Analysis: A lot of fans were scratching their heads when they hear Alexanders name called in the second round of this years draft, but more talented cover corners is never a bad thing to have. I hope that Waynes has grown enough to get the starting job opposite Rhodes. I expect Alexander to get some backup minutes at nickel corner behind Munnerlyn. With Munnerlyn’s contract up next season, Alexander could be groomed to be his replacement if he proves to be too expensive.


Currently on the team: Antone Exum Jr., Anthony Harris, Jayron Kearse, Andrew Sendejo, Harrison Smith, Michael Griffin

Projected to make the final cut(5): Harrison Smith, Michael Griffin, Andrew Sendejo, Anthony Harris, Jayron Kearse

Analysis: As the Vikings still search to find the right compliment to Harrison Smith, they did not draft one until the seventh round. Jayron Kearse has all the measurables and has said to be impressive in the first days of the rookie minicamp. I expect him to be groomed into a serviceable backup this year and possibly a started later down the road.

Special Teams

Punter: Jeff Locke

Kicker: Blair Walsh

Long Snapper: Kevin McDermott

Projected to make the final cut(3): All of the above

Analysis: As we do not have a punter signed to our 90 man roster as of yet, I will say that Locke makes the team. If Nick O’Toole can come in and blow some away in his workout, there is a good chance he could beat out Locke for the starting punter job. I hope so at least. Locke has been painful to watch.

Final Word: This team does not have a lot of room for change. There is talent everywhere. This is a great problem to have. We will have to make some cuts this year that will be head scratchers. This team will continue to grow and get better. I see another step forward from Bridgewater with new weapons around him and an upgraded offensive line. Let’s get ready for another great season! SKOL!