Vikings Preseason Bubble: Who Needs to Stand out in Important Preseason Week 3 Game?

Aug 5, 2023; Eagan, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (19) during training camp at Twin Cities Orthopedic Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

With Week 3 of the preseason upon us, the VikingsTerritory staff is looking at players on the Vikings preseason bubble.

Not only that, but the cut-down date is fast approaching. Teams must trim their rosters down to 53 players by Tuesday, August 29. Thus, as a staff, we’re thinking about some players that need to step up on Saturday, the last game of the preseason against the Arizona Cardinals.

For more of an outside view on this argument, take a look at Dane Mizutani of the TwinCities Pioneer Press here.

And, for more VikingsTerritory thoughts on who else is on the Vikings Preseason Bubble, check out our boss Dustin Baker here for a round table article.

But who does the staff have their eye on looking forward to Saturday afternoon? And why did they choose that particular player? Let’s take a little bit of a deeper look…

The VikingsTerritory Staff Round Table: Who is on the Vikings Preseason Bubble?

We have six people, including myself, who each present one player and a few sentences behind our choice. Enough chit-chat. Let’s get into the list, starting with Mr. Baker.

Writer One: The Boss, Dustin Baker

Dustin’s Choice: DeWayne McBride (RB)

Dustin’s Reasoning: The rookie tailback has not produced a memorable summer and could ultimately hit the practice squad when roster cuts are announced next week. And this was after fantasy football savants spent four months explaining McBride could be “the guy” to draft in Dynasty leagues.

On paper, McBride should have no problem making the Vikings regular season roster, and to do that, he’ll need a competent showing against the Cardinals. Otherwise, Aaron Dykes could steal his job.

Some sage words from the boss. But he is not the only one on the Vikings preseason bubble.

Our second suggestion comes from a friendly neighbor to the north, our resident Canadian, Kyle Joudry. Let’s see what he has to say…

Writer Two: The Canadian Viking, Kyle Joudry

Kyle’s Choice: Tay Gowan (Cornerback)

Kyle’s Reasoning: Tay Gowan is someone who would benefit from a strong game against the Cardinals. The depth corner is hoping to make the roster as someone who can help on defense and special teams, but NaJee Thompson has been the one who is shining. To his credit, Gowan had the fumble recovery last week, but another impact play or two wouldn’t hurt.

Very true, Mr. Joudry. So that’s two so far who are on the Vikings preseason bubble, according to our staff. Now let’s bring it back stateside and hear from one of our editors, Josh Frey, aka “the Frey Guy.”

Writer Three: Editor Josh Frey

Josh’s Choice: Troy Dye (Linebacker)

Josh’s Reasoning: I’ll take Troy Dye. The Vikings have a trio of very capable off-ball linebackers in Jordan Hicks, Brian Asamoah, and Ivan Pace. Dye had an interception last weekend, but in order to make any headway in this LB room, he is going to need to show out in a big way.

So we now have two rookies and a fourth-year guy our crew thinks is on the Vikings preseason bubble. But Josh isn’t the only one who thinks Dye could be in trouble.

Another writer who also thinks Dye is on the Vikings preseason bubble is someone who just recently became a father in Ali Siddiqui.

Writer Four: Ali Siddiqui

Ali’s Choice: Troy Dye (Linebacker)

Ali’s Reasoning: He did respond with a nice game last week, which included an interception. He may very well need to have another good one to secure a roster spot. With Danielle Hunter, Jordan Hicks, Brian Asomoah, and Ivan Pace Jr already here, the fourth-year linebacker doesn’t have many chances left.

Now, to be fair, Dye is an injury-prone linebacker who has not played a whole lot of football, with only 63 career tackles, a fumble recovery, and a pair of pass deflections.

For our fifth suggestion on the Vikings preseason bubble, I turn to our native Brazilian, Mr. Henrique Gucciardi, and he provides a guy who is known for his unfortunate luck at the wideout position.

Writer Five: Brazilian Vike Henrique Gucciardi

Henrique’s Choice: Jalen Reagor (Wide Receiver)

Henrique’s Reasoning: Reagor did not have a good first season with the Vikings, which may be an understatement. But he’s showing improvement throughout a good camp and led the team in yards against the Seahawks. However, Brandon Powell has been very consistent and can return punts as well, and players like Triston Jackson are really making an impression. Reagor must show why he was a first-round pick if he wants to stick around.

To answer your question, Henrique, no, that explanation was not too long. It will do just fine.

Well, that just leaves one writer, and that is little old me, Mr. Nate Powalie. The native Clevelander is looking at someone that Henrique just mentioned in his discussion that appears on the Vikings preseason bubble as someone who has seen his fair share of bad luck.

Writer Six: The Cleveland Viking, Yours Truly, Nate Powalie

My Choice: Brandon Powell (Wide Receiver)

My Reasoning: Okay, now hear me out. Brandon Powell is a guy who has fallen victim to being a last-minute cut multiple times in his career already. So, yes, he is definitely on the Vikings preseason bubble. One thing that is not working for him is that the wide receiver room in Minnesota is rather crowded (save for N’Keal Harry recently being cut). One thing that does benefit him, however? Experience.

As Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes, “The 5-8, 181-pounder is in a tussle at punt returner and receiver. . . Powell also offers the most NFL kick return experience at a time when A: second-team All-Pro kick returner Kene Nwangwu can’t get healthy, and B: the best kick returner to play the position this preseason is an undrafted rookie camp-body running back (Aaron Dykes) who joined the team Thursday.”

So, yes, Powell is used to being on a bubble, and being on the Vikings preseason bubble is not exactly new. But he is a champion (as a part of the 2021-22 LA Rams), and he can bring some venerable experience to a relatively young wide-out room.

As the clock ticks down to the final cut date, these are the VikingsTerritory staff’s choice for the Vikings preseason bubble. Who finds their way to the final 53-man roster will largely depend on performances Saturday afternoon. This will be an important game to watch.