Quick Summary at Every Position for Vikings Going into Week 1

Dec 10, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) talks to cornerback Terence Newman (23) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sport

Dec 10, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison (96) talks to cornerback Terence Newman (23) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sport



So, the final 53 man roster and 10 man practice squad has been released. So let’s go over it, and as we always do, overanalyze.

QB:

Kirk Cousins
Trevor Siemian
Kyle Sloter

No big surprises here. We signed the number one free agent this summer and he projects to improve our offense. Please do not expect the world from Kirk Cousins. Also, remember this, he does tend to start the season a little slow, so give him some time before we come to rash judgments.

RB:

Dalvin Cook
Latavius Murray
C.J. Ham (FB)
Mike Boone
Roc Thomas

So we kept 5 RBs, including both Mike Boone and Roc Thomas. So all those one or the other articles were just moot. This is probably a move made while looking at the future. Latavius Murray’s contract is up after this season, so now we will be set at this position for the next three years with Cook, Boone and Thomas.

C.J. Ham should be considered a top FB in the NFL. He has proven to not only be a fantastic blocker, but also a great catcher out of the backfield.

*I do believe there’s a chance the Vikings sign a FA WR, and if this is done, Thomas may slip to the practice squad.

WR:

Adam Thielen
Stefon Diggs
Laquon Treadwell
Brandon Zylstra
Stacy Coley

No huge surprises here, as this position came out as I predicted. Stacey Coley’s injury must not be too worrisome for the club, otherwise another WR would have been kept, although I do not expect him to play week 1.

Zylstra made the team. He did enough in the final preseason game to show that he belongs.

TE:

Kyle Rudolph
David Morgan
Tyler Conklin

Again, as predicted for the active 53, but the interesting move here is bringing in Cole Hikutini to the practice squad instead of Tyler Hoppes. He’s caught just one pass in an NFL game, but there were small flashes in the preseason, enough to warrant a chance to learn our system. Don’t read too much into his time with the 49ers as the reason why the Vikings signed him to the practice squad. Sure, he was on the roster when they played a few weeks ago but we really wouldn’t be able to learn much from him at that time.

OL:

Riley Reiff (OT)
Tom Compton (OT)
Pat Elflein (C)
Mike Remmers (OT)
Rashod Hill (OT)
Brian O’Neill (OT)
Brett Jones (C)
Aviante Collins (OT)
Danny Isidora (OG)

With the acquisition of Brett Jones, the Vikings seem to be happy going into the season with what they have. Many of us worry about the interior of the offensive line, however, this is one of the easiest spots to hide a flaw on an NFL roster. Personally, I’m more worried to start Rashod Hill at right tackle. This has always been an interesting choice, and I just haven’t seen it out of him this preseason, partially due to injury, but the struggle has been real no matter the reason.

*This could also be where the Vikings make another move. Aviante Collins is still practice squad eligible and the Vikings may be looking to bring in another swing tackle. A couple of names to keep in mind are be Austin Howard and Cornelius Lucas.

DL:

Everson Griffen (DE)
Danielle Hunter (DE)
Linval Joseph (DT)
Sheldon Richardson (DT)
Stephen Weatherly (DE)
Tashawn Bower (DE)
Jaleel Johnson (DT)
David Parry (NT)
Jalyn Holmes (DT)

The defensive line is where the biggest shocks came. Releasing Brian Robison could not have been easy for the front office. He’s been a guiding mentor for many of the young players and always played with fire, even in what was about to be his 12th season. We will not only miss your passion, B-Rob, but let‘s be real, 96 questions will be sorely missed too!

Another big surprise was the release of Ifeadi Odenigbo in exchange for rostering David Parry. The logic behind this decision is simple, we needed a true nose tackle behind Linval Joseph, especially if he went down. Jaleel Johnson has been working both the NT position as well as the 3T, but he is clearly more suited as the 3T and the coaching staff and management couldn’t see him doing well if, god forbid, Joseph went down. The hope I’m sure, was to put Odenigbo on the practice squad, but this wasn’t realistic as the team with top waiver priority, the Cleveland Browns, scooped him up immediately. Both Robison and Odenigbo will be missed.

LB:

Anthony Barr
Eric Kendricks
Ben Gedeon
Eric Wilson
Devante Downs

For everyone who pays attention, this position was set at the top 4, but that 5th spot was up for grabs between likely 4 players. Devante Downs ended up earning this spot on the 53-man roster. I didn’t see as much from him as I did from Reshard Cliett, but Cliett made it to the practice squad so I’m happy.

*Again, this could be where another move is made. If a transaction does take place, look for Downs to be added to the practice squad as well.

CB:

Xavier Rhodes
Trae Waynes
Mackensie Alexander
Mike Hughes
Marcus Sherels
Holton Hill

The retirement of Terrance Newman can’t be a large surprise, however I will say slightly disappointing. He was still showing value on the field, even in his old football age this preseason, but it more than likely came down to him or Marcus Sherels. Holton Hill wasn’t going anywhere. We have big future plans for him. Marcus Sherels, though, adds special teams value and not just as a return man. His skills as a punt gunner are next to none.

S:

Harrison Smith
Andrew Sendejo

George Iloka
Anthony Harris
Jayron Kearse

As I thought, we kept 5 safeties. Zimmer has plans for defensive schemes that include 3 safeties on the field at the same time. Iloka brings an element to this defense that I am very excited to see.

If one of the safeties was left out, it more than likely would have been Jayron Kearse, who was toying with us all weekend with cryptic tweets. He too though, just has too much value on special teams and is also improving nicely as a safety. This too could be a move looking to the future, as (now our oldest player) Andrew Sendejo has contract questions going into next season. We likely will not keep him on his current deal, whether that be a restructure, pay cut, or eventually just cutting him from the team before next year’s contract kicks in. In order to extend the players we want to, his contract is just too much after this season.

Specialists:

Daniel Carlson (K)
Matt Wile (P)
Kevin McDermott (LS)

This was probably the move that shocked most Vikings fans, we claimed punter Matt Wile from the Pittsburgh Steelers and waived Ryan Quigley.

The biggest difference between these two players is leg power. In the preseason Matt Wile averaged the 2nd longest punt average and hangtime average, where as Quigley, was 3rd-to-last, all according to PFF.

When you have a defense as strong as ours, having the ability to switch the field with a punt is immeasurable. Many fans may not understand this move, but it makes a lot of sense.

So, now that the roster is (mostly) set, we can finally start to get excited about facing the San Fransisco 49ers on September 9th at 12:00pm CST!

Here is the Practice Squad:

Jeff Badet (WR)
Chad Beebe (WR)
Reshard Cliett (LB)
Curtis Cothran (DT)
Garret Dooley (LB)
Cornelius Edison (C)
Colby Gossett (OG)
Cole Hikutini (TE)
Storm Norton (OT)
Jack Tocho (CB)

Ian Parrague @Superskolfan
Minnesota Sports Fan