Last week, prior to training camp commencing, the fine folks at asked me to participate in a little exercise along with a handful of other fine blogs.  The mission was simple:  Predict what the 53-man roster will look like after final cuts are made.

I’m posting my predictions here, but the final results that include all of the various roster projections can be found by clicking here.

A few things about my projection will jump out at you:

  • I didn’t give wide out Greg Childs or Michael Mauti the benefit of the doubt regarding their injury status.  Keep in mind, this was written prior to Mauti being cleared for practice.  Regardless, I just couldn’t pretend to be a doctor, and had to leave them off the list until they prove that they are not only healthy enough to play in the NFL, but talented enough, too.  They are both guys I root for, but they didn’t make my pre-training camp roster.
  • Of the blogs polled, I was the only one to give the third running back spot to undrafted rookie Bradley Randle.  You all have known my desire for the Vikings to have a dynamic scat back longer than the world has known who Barack Obama is, but I think his true value lies on special teams.  He can produce a big hit, which has already been on display in Mankato, and just seems to have a lot more upside compared to his competition.
  • I was also the only blogger to dedicate a roster spot to cornerback Bobby Felder.  I was relieved when the Vikings managed to sneak him onto the practice squad last year, as I felt he had tremendous upside, and I think his year of practicing with the team will pay dividends as he faces off against the likes of Jacob Lacey and Brandon Burton.

Anyways, here is my final (okay, not really final, I bet) for what the roster will look like on opening day:

Quarterback: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Bradley Randle
Fullback: Jerome Felton
Tight End: Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison, John Carlson
Wide Receiver: Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jerome Simpson, Jarius Wright, Joe Webb, Rodney Smith
Offensive Line: Matt Kalil, Phil Loadholt, Demarcus Love, Joe Berger, Charlie Johnson, Brandon Fusco, Jeff Baca, John Sullivan

Defensive Line: Jared Allen, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen, Lawrence Jackson, Kevin Williams, Sharrif Floyd, Christian Ballard, Fred Evans, Letroy Guion
Linebacker: Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Desmond Biship, Audie Cole, Gerald Hodges, Larry Dean
Cornerback: Chris Cook, Xavier Rhodes, Josh Robinson, AJ Jefferson, Bobby Felder, Marcus Sherels
Safety: Harrison Smith, Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond, Robert Blanton, Andrew Sendejo

Special Teams: Blair Walsh, Jeff Locke, Cullen Loeffler