Minnesota Vikings: Updated roster prediction after third preseason game

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 27: Kyle Carter /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 27: Taylor Heinicke (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 27: Taylor Heinicke (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /


QB (3): Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Taylor Heinicke

RB/FB (4): Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon, C.J. Ham

WR (5): Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell, Stacy Coley, Rodney Adams

TE (4): Kyle Rudolph, David Morgan II, Kyle Carter, Bucky Hodges

OL (9): Riley Reiff, Alex Boone, Pat Elflein, Joe Berger, Mike Remmers, Nick Easton, Rashod Hill, Danny Isidora, Jeremiah Sirles

Suspended/PUP: Michael Floyd, Teddy Bridgewater

Offensive Notes

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings /

Minnesota Vikings


Taylor Heinicke makes the cut for the first time in my preseason roster predictions. Playing with hurt ribs, the quarterback showed toughness as he played the final offensive drive with 2:44 remaining against the 49ers. More impressively, Heinicke led a 63-yard touchdown drive and converted a two-point conversion to give the Vikings a 32-31 victory.

Even so, I don’t think his spot is a guarantee. Teddy Bridgewater may start the year on the PUP, but based on his activity in practices, I see him returning to the roster at some point this season. In that case, Heinicke would likely get the boot unless the Vikings want to keep four quarterbacks. Does that make a roster spot for him necessary?

Nevertheless, Mike Zimmer stated that he’d like three quarterbacks on the roster. Case Keenum has wrapped up the backup job and Heinicke is the third option, at least to start the year.

Running Backs

Nothing changes at running back. Dalvin Cook looks like he’ll become the next great three-down running back, Latavius Murray gives the team a big back that can be used in short yardage and pass protection situations, while McKinnon is the change-of-pace runner.

At fullback, C.J. Ham impresses me each time he steps on the field. He shows versatility at the position not only impacting the run game, but the pass game. In fact, he’s caught a pass in each of the first three preseason games.

Wide Receivers

At wide receiver, I am going against what I’ve been saying the past couple of weeks. I have five receivers making the team, not including Jarius Wright. While I see value in keeping Wright on the roster, Coley and Adams show the potential to develop into productive receivers in the league. Additionally, Wright seemed to fall out of favor in the third preseason game, playing a limited amount in the third quarter. Basically, I take the guys with higher ceilings rather than the guy with the higher floor.

Laquon Treadwell‘s performance in his preseason debut encouraged me enough to let go of Wright. He caught three balls with the first-team offense. If he doesn’t produce in the regular season, Michael Floyd brings insurance when he returns from a four-game suspension.

In the past, I’ve had the Vikings keep six receivers, but that comes at the expense of someone on the defensive line. Normally, I’ve kept nine on the line, but based on preseason performances, keeping 10 linemen is a better bet.

Tight Ends

Back to four tight ends this week. Kyle Carter finally showed life in the pass game making a 16-yard contested catch in the end zone from Case Keenum. Zimmer has talked up Carter’s play in training camp and the preseason, so I like his chances of making the roster. It’s fair to note that Carter is a good blocker and that can easily go unnoticed at his position.

Bucky Hodges clearly shows potential, but a fourth tight end puts less pressure on him to produce right away.

Offensive Line

This week, I have Willie Beavers getting cut. I don’t think that’s a popular move considering Jeremiah Sirles is on the roster, but I see Zimmer going with the veteran. He also has the ability to play guard, a position that Beavers mightily struggled at last year. While Sirles hasn’t exactly impressed, I’m not sure how I feel about Beavers either. Also, he has a better chance of slipping through waivers and making the practice squad.

Undoubtedly, the Vikings will look at the waiver wire following the final preseason game. They look solid at center and guard, but they could use another tackle. Don’t be surprised to see Sirles and Beavers get the boot in favor of a waiver pickup.