Andy Predicts the Final Vikings 53-Man Roster

The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings are days away from trimming the 90-man roster down to 75 after the Dallas preseason game and then the final 53 — after the fifth and final exhibition at Tennessee — as the 2015 campaign begins.

Since my mock draft skills are itching to get out, I did a mock 53-man roster and practice squad prediction/projection/forecast. Enjoy! (Also please be quick to tell me where I’m wrong, suck, and am terrible.)

5 Teddy Bridgewater
13 Shaun Hill
I think this makes the most sense to keep 2 QBs on the roster & toss the kid Heinicke (who has shown some promise in spurts) on the practice squad. Also I think Teddy’s done enough to stay off the 53-man bubble…

28 Adrian Peterson
31 Jerick McKinnon
44 Matt Asiata
Pretty much a Stone Cold Lock with these three.

First Hot Take. The organization does like Line and gave him a showcase game against Tampa, but his duties can be filled by an h-back combo of Ellison & Pruitt.

11 Mike Wallace
12 Charles Johnson
17 Jarius Wright
19 Adam Thielen
14 Stefon Diggs
84 Cordarrelle Patterson
CP84 hangs on. Probably more out of stubbornness than anything.

82 Kyle Rudolph
85 Rhett Ellison
86 Chase Ford
83 MyCole Pruitt
Four tight ends with not keeping a fullback. Chase Ford’s “birthday” game against the Raiders has rekindled my love for him. *Cue the Nightranger*

75 Matt Kalil
63 Brandon Fusco
65 John Sullivan
79 Mike Harris
68 T. J. Clemmings
61 Joe Berger
67 Zac Kerin
66 David Yankey
74 Austin Shepherd
Most teams carry eight o-linemen, but nine felt right with this group. Bonus is that Berger, Yankey, and Shepherd can backup multiple positions.

97 Everson Griffen
96 Brian Robison
99 Danielle Hunter
95 Scott Crichton
94 Justin Trattou
The top four were a lock. Just hoping that Trattou can sneak in on the 53 to start the year. Great things happen when #94’s on the field.

98 Linval Joseph
73 Sharrif Floyd
92 Tom Johnson
93 Shamar Stephen

55 Anthony Barr
57 Audie Cole
52 Chad Greenway
50 Gerald Hodges
54 Eric Kendricks
58 Brandon Watts
45 Brian Peters
Brian Peters is the clear surprise, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think he’s outplayed his peers and deserves a spot.

29 Xavier Rhodes
30 Terence Newman
26 Trae Waynes
24 Captain Munnerlyn
35 Marcus Sherels
27 Shaun Prater
Carrying six cornerbacks (if you consider Prater a corner) with Josh Robinson on the PUP & Jabari Price on two-game suspension making it eight. If Captain doesn’t get his mess together, I wouldn’t be shocked if the team cuts him after Price returns.

22 Harrison Smith
36 Robert Blanton
32 Antone Exum
34 Andrew Sendejo

18 Jeff Locke
47 Kevin McDermott
3 Blair Walsh

21 Josh Robinson (PUP)
25 Jabari Price (2-game suspension)

76 Isame Faciane
90 B. J. Dubose
23 Joe Banyard
48 Zach Line
6 Taylor Heinicke
59 Tom Farniok
72 Tyrus Thompson
40 Edmond Robinson
41 Anthony Harris
38 Justin Coleman
I think the team wants to keep Line in the fold and are still enamored by Faciane transitioning to guard. Then the standard mix of young kids in development.

69 Babatunde Aiyegbusi
Not sure this is a lock…

SOL (21)
20 DuJuan Harris, 49 Blake Renaud, 43 Dominique Williams, 16 DaVaris Daniels, 2 Donte Foster, 9 Jordan Leslie, 15 Isaac Fruechte, 89 Ryan Whalen, 81 Brandon Bostick, 78 Stephen Goodin, 64 Bobby Vardaro, 62 Chigbo Anunoby, 69 Greg Hickman, 78 Leon Mackey, 91 Caesar Rayford, 64 Chrishon Rose, 51 Josh Kaddu, 56 Michael Mauti , 39 Jalil Carter, 33 Josh Thomas, 37 DeMarcus Van Dyke

Anyways that’s my 53. Let me know where I screwed up!



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Andy Carlson

Andy Carlson (Podcast Producer) is life-long Vikings fan with a sense of humor to help dull the pain of that existence. Sports are fun. They're meant to be be enjoyed and not taken too seriously. He lives that mantra over at the Purple FTW! Podcast: Dedicated to the Pain AND Pleasure that is the Minnesota Vikings. Check out his shenanigans there and on Twitter @AndyCarlsonShow and @PurpleForTheWin.

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  1. Nice list. You mention Brandon Watts relative to the practice squad, but then didn’t have him in the 10-man list. Assuming he’s supposed to be there, who comes out in your opinion?

    1. Never mind – spotted him in the active linebackers. So much for “Find” working on the ol’ browser, lol.

    1. CP84 should be listed with the specialists. If he is ever in a regular season game as a receiver, I would be surprised. Would be only as a duck decoy cuz neither Teddy or Zim will trust he will run the right route. He is strictly DHesterII.

      1. Comparisons with Hester are good, if facile. Chicago kept him for what, seven years? Trying to develop him as a WR. But the difference is, CP is taller than Hester, a bigger target, Hester also ran poor routes but slowly developed some skill at that (like CP?), but, importantly, he (DH) had for some reason really poor catching skills, CP OTOH actually seems to have pretty good hands.

  2. PFF had Josh Thomas as our 2nd most highly rated player for the Raiders game. Of course, that’s only one game. But if we cut him, someone else will pick him up for sure. And Zimmer likes corners, of course. But if Thomas stays, I don’t know who goes. Perhaps Sherels? CP?

      1. Here’s Arif Hasan on Sherels:
        “Marcus Sherels remains the punt returner. Right now, he makes better decisions and is better at securing the ball. Who knows, maybe he’s the guy to leave when Robinson comes back and Diggs is a much more confident punt return gamble. Sherels isn’t an average punt returner, he’s a top-three returner. He also plays critical roles as a gunner (something Diggs doesn’t do) and in kickoff coverage (I don’t recall seeing Diggs here, either)….”

  3. Id like to sneak Line onto the roster possibly over Asiata(not saying it’ll happen but it’s what is prefer). I’m not an Asiata fan and think Line can play FB and HB.
    Other notes would be Mauti over Watts. Mauti is better IMO. And Josh Thomas possibly over Sherels or Prater, even tho I like both Thomas has impressed.

    1. I think you’re being optimistic about Line’s ability to play either fullback or halfback. He has done very little as a halfback, and he SUCKS as a fullback. Like, he really stinks at run blocking. I am a-ok with him being cut.

      1. While that’s true, I don’t think Asiata is any better. Honestly I’d take any other RB on the roster over Asiata.

        1. I think you are actually undervaluing Asiata’s play. He will almost certainly be our third-down back this year, unless Adrian takes a lot more of those plays than he has in the past, because he is the best pass protecting running back we have and that’s vital.

  4. Dominique Williams and Isaac Fruechte will make the practice squad. Banyard and Coleman are gone. Fruechte will make 53 next year. Yankey may not make 53 this year. Heinicke will get “Thigpenned” if they try to sneak him to practice squad.

  5. They said on the radio, there is no international practice squad exemption anymore. When the practice squad went to 10 the exemption was removed.