VikingsTerritory’s 53-Man Roster Projection
The 2022 Minnesota Vikings will feature a new general manager and head coach, plus a new starting EDGE rusher, off-ball linebacker, right guard, and perhaps safety.
To establish the depth chart, the roster must first be trimmed to 53 men as mandated by the NFL. That will occur at the end of August. Accordingly, the following is a 53-man roster projection for the 2022 Vikings.
** Note: Players listed as “Who’s Out” may land on the Practice Squad. **
Who’s In: Kirk Cousins, Kellen Mond
Who’s Out: Sean Mannion
If Kellen Mond can’t win the QB2 job, he’s regrettably a lost cause, at least per 3rd-Round draft stock. Finally, though, Mond takes over the backup gig and is one snap away from leading the Vikings.
Running Backs (4)
Who’s In: Dalvin Cook, C.J. Ham, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu
Who’s Out: Jake Bargas, Ty Chandler, Bryan Koback
Ty Chandler isn’t bad. He’s just a 53-man math casualty. He’ll end up on the practice squad — and probably see regular-season action in 2022. Running backs always get hurt, especially these running backs.
Wide Receivers (7)
Who’s In: Dan Chisena, Justin Jefferson, Jalen Nailor, K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Adam Thielen, Albert Wilson
Who’s Out: Thomas Hennigan, Trishton Jackson, Bisi Johnson, Myron Mitchell, Blake Proehl
Chisena made the cut for his special teams vitality. Johnson is the odd man out due to the free-agent addition of Albert Wilson. If this seven-man WR room projection is incorrect, look for Chisena or Wilson as the culprit.
Tight Ends (3)
Who’s In: Zach Davidson, Johnny Mundt, Irv Smith
Who’s Out: Shaun Beyer, Ben Ellefson, Nick Muse
With Smith’s thumb surgery, Vikings fans see the pecking order for reservist tight ends at training camp. The next men up are Mundt and Davidson.
Offensive Linemen (9)
Who’s In: Garrett Bradbury (C), Ezra Cleveland (LG), Christian Darrisaw (LT), Jesse Davis (G/T), Ed Ingram (OG), Vederian Lowe (OT), Brian O’Neill (RT), Chris Reed (G/C), Oli Udoh (OT)
Who’s Out: Blake Brandel, Wyatt Davis, Kyle Hinton, Timon Parris, Austin Schlottmann, Josh Sokol
Davis and Schlottmann may surprise some, but roster cuts must come from somewhere. This Vikings OL group heading into 2022 may be the most talented since 2010 or so. Finally, huh?
Interior Defensive Linemen (6)
Who’s In: James Lynch, Esezi Otomewo, Harrison Phillips, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jaylen Twyman, Armon Watts
Who’s Out: Jonathan Bullard, T.Y. McGill, T.J. Smith, Tyarise Stevenson, Jullian Taylor
This was actually the easiest spot on the roster to forecast. Lynch could be on the bubble, but he showed promise in limited playing time in the last couple of years.
EDGE Rushers (5)
Who’s In: Danielle Hunter, Patrick Jones, Janarius Robinson, Za’Darius Smith, D.J. Wonnum
Who’s Out: Zach McCloud, Andre Mintze, Luiji Vilain
After Hunter and Smith, this group could stand to add some depth. Jones, Robinson, and Wonnum are decent developmental guys. Perhaps Mintze or Vilain can stay if they have productive preseason showings.
Off-Ball Linebackers (5)
Who’s In: Brian Asamoah, Troy Dye, Jordan Hicks, Eric Kendricks, Chazz Surratt
Who’s Out: Ryan Connelly, William Kwenkeu, Blake Lynch
Also not a tricky group to shave for a roster projection, Kendricks, Hicks, and Asamoah will hog almost all of the defensive snaps at this position.
Who’s In: Andrew Booth, Cameron Dantzler, Akayleb Evans, Patrick Peterson, Chandon Sullivan
Who’s Out: Kris Boyd, Nate Hairston, Harrison Hand, Parry Nickerson, Tye Smith
Did you know? The 2021 Los Angeles Rams, where Kevin O’Connell was last employed, kept only four CBs heading into last season.
We expand that by one and cut Boyd and Hairston (but only by a whisker). Hairston could make the team if we’re wrong.
Who’s In: Camryn Bynum, Lewis Cine, Josh Metellus, Harrison Smith
Who’s Out: Mike Brown, Myles Dorn
While last year’s Rams carried over four corners on the opening day roster, they kept six safeties. And the Vikings don’t employ six safeties good enough to make the cut. So, four make the team.
Special Teams (3)
Who’s In: Jordan Berry (P), Greg Joseph (K), Andrew DePaola (LS)
Who’s Out: Ryan Wright (P)
No-brainers here. We shall see if Joseph follows through on Matt Daniels’ bold declaration.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).
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