With week two of the preseason wrapped up, it’s time to look toward the regular season. Training camp is over and players have seen the field. So, let’s predict who will make the Vikings‘ 53-man roster to begin the regular season. But why stop there? I’ll throw in practice squad predictions for free!
53-Man Roster Projection
I think the Vikings will start the season with two signal callers. However, I will go bold by saying that Teddy Bridgewater will be activated after week six. He is eligible to come off the PUP list then, and I believe he will get a shot to compete from there.
Running Back (4)
Cook, Murray, and McKinnon will all get touches in this offense. They can each contribute in the passing game and running game, making them each valuable. Ham projects to be the new fullback for Pat Shurmur.
Wide Receiver (6)
Exception: Michael Floyd (Suspended)
Floyd was suspended for the first four games of the season. That leaves room for rookies Rodney Adams and Stacey Coley to make the team. Diggs and Thielen are the top targets, but Wright and Treadwell could be fighting for their spots.
Tight End (3)
This is really no surprise. These are the three guys that can impact the offense in 2017.
Offensive Line (10)
Zac Kerin and TJ Clemmings experience, but the youth movement might force them out of Minnesota. They have some solid young pieces to help improve from last year’s miserable line play. Remmers and Reiff have to live up to their contracts, however.
Defensive Line (9)
Hunter and Griffen are probably one of the best duos for getting to the QB. Linval Joseph is incredible against the run, and Datone Jones is set for a new role in Minnesota. It gets interesting with Bower. He has been hyped up for the entirety of camp, and he should beat out Stephen Weatherly and Ifeadi Odenigbo.
Barr and Kendricks will man the middle for Mike Zimmer. Outside of that, there are no guarantees among the linebackers. I expect Robinson to start on the weakside early on, but Ben Gedeon will take that spot sooner rather than later. Lee and Brothers will stay on because of their youth and athleticism.
The Vikings may very well sign a veteran corner, but as it stands, this is what they have. Rhodes is a star, Newman is a leader, Waynes and Alexander are young projects. Alexander will most likely compete for the starting nickel job with Newman sticking around as a mentor. Sherels is simply here to return punts. If he is on defense, something terrible has happened.
We head into another year questioning if Sendejo is a starting safety in the NFL. Harrison Smith is one of the best in the league, but he needs help next to him for the defense to take the next step. Exum has worked in the slot as well as deep, so his versatility will keep him around. Harris and Kearse are likely on board for depth, but they have to produce this season.
Forbath was with the Vikings at the end of 2016, so he has the advantage. Symmank had a nice punt in week one of the preseason, and he can lock down the job with a good showing over the next couple weeks. McDermott is no surprise.
Practice Squad (10)
Cayleb Jones, WR
Tre Roberson, DB
Terrell Newby, RB
Ifeadi Odenigbo, DL
Eric Wilson, LB
Freddie Tagaloa, OL
Aviante Collins, OL
Anything can happen, but this is our projected 53-man roster and practice squad for the 2017 Minnesota Vikings. Skol.