Dustin Baker’s Final 53-Man Roster Projection for Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings failed to win a game during the preseason after starters, almost in unison, were rested for all three games.
Meanwhile, the new coaching staff received a prolonged look at all other players, culminating in a 53-man regular season roster to be announced on Tuesday.
This is a projection for the roster reveal (players sorted alphabetically).
Who’s In: Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens
Who’s Out: Sean Mannion, Kellen Mond
That’s a wrap for the summer participants in the Vikings QB2 battle. For the most part, it wasn’t fun to watch, and two men exit-stage-left accordingly. The Vikings finally showcase the offense with Cousins in less than two weeks. Thank God.
Running Backs (4)
Who’s In: Ty Chandler, Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu
Who’s Out: C.J. Ham, Bryant Koback
The biggest note of controversy in this projection, we predict Minnesota will move on from Ham as fullbacks aren’t required in a Kevin O’Connell offense.
Wide Receivers (6)
Who’s In: Dan Chisena, Justin Jefferson, Jalen Nailor, K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Adam Thielen
Who’s Out: Trishton Jackson, Bisi Johnson (injured), Myron Mitchell
Tough luck for Bisi Johnson against the Denver Broncos sends Nailor to roster security. Chisena stays for special teams duties.
Tight Ends (3)
Who’s In: Ben Ellefson, Johnny Mundt, Irv Smith
Who’s Out: Shaun Beyer, Zach Davidson, Nick Muse
If Davidson were a better blocker, he’d make the cut over Ellefson. Alas, he is not. It’s too bad because Davidson is quasi-freakish. He is basically a small forward on the football field.
Offensive Linemen (10)
Who’s In: Garrett Bradbury (C), Blake Brandel (OT), Ezra Cleveland (LG), Christian Darrisaw (LT), Jesse Davis (G/T), Ed Ingram (OG), Brian O’Neill (RT), Chris Reed (G/C), Austin Schlottmann (C), Oli Udoh (OT)
Who’s Out: Wyatt Davis, Kyle Hinton, Vederian Lowe, Timon Parris, Josh Sokol
Blake Brandel played his way onto the active roster — kudos to him. The Wyatt Davis dream comes to an end, while Lowe probably lands on the practice squad.
Interior Defensive Linemen (7)
Who’s In: Jonathan Bullard, James Lynch, T.Y. McGill, Harrison Phillips, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jaylen Twyman, Armon Watts
Who’s Out: Esezi Otomewo, T.J. Smith
Don’t look now, but with a dazzling preseason performance, McGill took a roster spot from Gopher rookie Esezi Otomewo.
EDGE Rushers (4)
Who’s In: Danielle Hunter, Patrick Jones, Za’Darius Smith, D.J. Wonnum
Who’s Out: Zach McCloud, Janarius Robinson, Luiji Vilain
If the “out” players clear waivers, this is a prime section of the roster to fortify the practice squad. Robinson didn’t do quite enough to make the team — a disappointment considering his youth and draft stock.
Off-Ball Linebackers (4)
Who’s In: Brian Asamoah, Troy Dye, Jordan Hicks, Eric Kendricks
Who’s Out: William Kwenkeu, Blake Lynch, Chazz Surratt
Surratt’s failure to make the team is yet another indictment on the Vikings 2021 draft class — well, some of it anyway. Lynch could join the regular season roster instead of Dye, so monitor that one.
Who’s In: Andrew Booth, Kris Boyd, Cameron Dantzler, Akayleb Evans, Patrick Peterson, Chandon Sullivan
Who’s Out: Nate Hairston, Parry Nickerson, Tye Smith
Boyd was a machine for a few minutes versus Denver, likely solidifying a roster spot. The rest of the cuts are non-mysterious. The Vikings could scour other teams’ roster casualties to fortify this section of the roster this week.
Who’s In: Camryn Bynum, Lewis Cine, Josh Metellus, Harrison Smith
Who’s Out: Mike Brown, Myles Dorn
Lost in the summer a bit is Lewis Cine’s non-emergence as a starter. Cine will be a starting safety for the Vikings before too long, but he has not seized the job from Bynum yet — something most Vikings faithful believed he’d so seamlessly.
Special Teams (3)
Who’s In: Jordan Berry (P), Greg Joseph (K), Andrew DePaola (LS)
The final section of the roster is melodramatic because Minnesota fired up the controversy last week when it released Berry in favor of Wright.
And then Wright emphatically proved in Denver why they made the move.
He can hold the ball for field goals, too, a primary fear from Vikings fans when Berry was chopped.
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).