Mitch Massman’s Vikings 53-Man Prediction

The Hitman Shall Return
Jul 27, 2022; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith (22) runs out onto the field at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

On Tuesday, the Vikings completed their second round of cuts. This brought the roster down to 80 players, and the final cut will be completed after the Broncos game. In light of this, let’s look at my Vikings 53-man roster prediction.

The final preseason game against the Broncos will determine many of the last remaining roster spots. Oddly enough, this makes the preseason’s last game so much fun to watch. Of course, you don’t care about the final score, but the guys on the edge of making the team will be playing their hearts out.

With that said, let’s deep dive into this roster prediction.

Vikings Offensive Roster

Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates with wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

First and foremost, we will look at the offense. There are obviously going to be some guys here that have been shoe-ins from the beginning of time. However, there might be some names that surprise you hear.


  • Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens

Running Back

  • Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler, CJ Ham

Wide Receiver

  • Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, KJ Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Bisi Johnson, Jalen Nailor

Tight End

  • Irv Smith Jr., Ben Ellefson, Zach Davidson

Offensive Tackle

  • Brian O’Neill, Christian Darrisaw, Oli Udoh

Offensive Guard

  • Ezra Cleveland, Ed Ingram, Jesse Davis, Chris Reed


  • Garrett Bradbury, Austin Schlottmann

You may have noticed that Nick Mullens turns out to be the only backup in this prediction. Some Kellen Mond stans might be mad about this, but you need to face it — Kellen Mond is not ready to suit up for an NFL game. At best, he gets a return on the practice squad. Mannion, conversely, has nowhere near the upside as Mond but is not as good as Mullens. Therefore, expect him to get cut with no return to the roster.

The main reason for keeping only two quarterbacks on the roster is so the Vikings can keep all five running backs on the team. There is no way they should put Chandler on the practice squad as some other team will easily poach him.

The wide receivers and tight ends are pretty self-explanatory. There are no big surprises here except that Myron Mitchell didn’t make the cut. However, while he was reported to have a decent camp, he is just not as good as the others being kept here.

That leaves us with the offensive line, which like every other year, was a big question mark heading into training camp. The only significant event here is that Ed Ingram will be the starting right guard. He earned that. Otherwise, the Vikings only keeping 3 “tackles” might shock some people, but Jesse Davis can play tackle in an emergency situation.

Defensive Roster and Specialists

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Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebackers Danielle Hunter (99) and Za’Darius Smith. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings’ defense predictions are much more complex than the offense. The offense, for the most part, is intact from 2021, with a few different decisions to be made but mostly at depth spots. On the other hand, the defense will see significant turnover. So, let’s get to it.

Defensive Edge

  • Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, Patrick Jones, DJ Wonnum, Janarius Robinson

Interior Defensive Line

  • Armon Watts, Harrison Phillips, Dalvin Tomlinson, James Lynch, T.Y. McGill


  • Eric Kendricks, Jordan Hicks, Brian Asamoah, Troy Dye, Blake Lynch


  • Patrick Peterson, Cam Dantzler, Andrew Booth Jr., Chandon Sullivan, Akayleb Evans, Kris Boyd


  • Harrison Smith, Cam Bynum, Lewis Cine, Josh Metellus


  • Andrew DePaola, Greg Joseph, Ryan Wright

Wow, that was a lot more difficult than anticipated. Outside of a few staples, it is difficult to predict how many guys they will keep on the defensive front. My gut instinct is that they will keep more players just in case Hunter or Smith get injured.

TY McGill might be the one guy to throw a wrench into things. He has been very productive in the games, but it is unclear if that play will get him a spot on the team. Although, it absolutely should.

Then we have the linebackers, which will mostly be status quo. Nothing groundbreaking to see here. However, the cornerbacks will be interesting. Do they keep five guys who can play outside and only one slot corner in Sullivan? The Vikings will likely approach it this way and then rely on more three-safety looks.

The specialist might surprise someone, but we won’t know until we have the punting competition in Denver on Saturday. Wright should win this job as Jordan Berry is slow to punt the ball, even if he has a bigger leg.

Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3

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