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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Projecting the 53: How will the Vikings’ final roster shape up?

By Matthew Coller

With the third preseason game in the books, the Minnesota Vikings should be close to deciding how the 53-man roster will look come opening night against the New Orleans Saints.

Here’s one likely scenario:

OFFENSE


Quarterbacks

Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater (PUP)

Running backs

Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon, CJ Ham

Wide receivers

Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Michael Floyd (Suspended), Laquon Treadwell, Rodney Adams, Stacy Coley

Tight ends

Kyle Rudolph, David Morgan, Kyle Carter, Bucky Hodges

Tackles

Riley Reiff, Mike Remmers, Rashod Hill, Jeremiah Sirles, Willie Beavers

Guards

Alex Boone, Joe Berger, Danny Isidora

Centers

Nick Easton, Pat Elflein

Explanation:

The Vikings could choose to keep four tight ends and a fullback. They seem to like Ham’s ability to play fullback and offer depth as a running back, but also could see Hodges having a role as an occasional mismatch deep threat – though Carter is the more reliable player.

Keeping four tight ends would mean cutting a receiver. Jarius Wright was on the field late in the third preseason game after seeing first-team reps earlier in camp. His playing time dropped significantly last year. The Vikings may opt for the two rookies who have performed well during camp/preseason and might offer something on special teams.

Beavers was cut after camp last year, then brought back on the practice squad. He’s shown enough growth to get the final spot on the bench. The transition from tackle to guard has not gone well for TJ Clemmings, who may end up being let go.

DEFENSE


Defensive end

Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, Brian Robison, Stephen Weatherly, Tashawn Bower, Ifeadi Odenigbo

Defensive tackle

Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson, Jaleel Johnson, Shamar Stephen, Sharrif Floyd (PUP)

Linebacker

Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, Ben Gedeon, Edmond Robinson, Kentrell Brothers

Cornerback

Xavier Rhodes, Terence Newman, Mackensie Alexander, Trae Waynes, Jabari Price, Marcus Sherels

Safety

Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo, Antone Exum, Jayron Kearse

Explanation:

Datone Jones would be a tough cut for the Vikings after they signed him in free agency, but his switch from outside linebacker to three-technique defensive lineman has not gone as they hoped. The rise of rookie Jaleel Johnson allows them to move on from Jones and keep Shamar Stephen instead. While Stephen struggled over a long period of playing time last year, he can fill in at three-tech and nose.

At defensive end, the young players have simply earned it. Bower, Odenigbo and Weatherly have all been terrific during the preseason.

Price should win the final roster spot by default as neither Tre Roberson, Horace Richardson or Terrell Sinkfield distinguished themselves as a depth corner.

Anthony Harris could be the odd-man out because of Exum’s growth as a safety/slot corner. Harris is a good special teams player, but keeping him would mean cutting Kearse.


Special teams

Kevin McDermott (LS), Kai Forbath (K), Ryan Quigley (punter)

Practice Squad

Taylor Heinicke, Terrell Newby, Cayleb Jones, Freddie Tagaloa, Aviante Collins, Tre Roberson, Elijah Lee, Jack Tocho

The post Projecting the 53: How will the Vikings’ final roster shape up? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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