A Post-Preseason 53-Man Roster Projection for the Vikings



Before the preseason began, I ventured into the perilous task of a 53-man roster projection.

At that moment in time, Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah didn’t know how the roster was going to look. After all, there’s a reason why teams still participate in the largely meaningless preseason: the games (and practices scattered between) function as critical parts of the evaluation. My task was bound to fail, at least to a certain extent, without being able to see these games and practices.

Well, the trio of games are in the books. There were expected stars (Ivan Pace) and unexpected stars (NaJee Thompson). Someone like Nick Muse did an awful lot to help his chance of making the roster, and so too did Brandon Powell, Luiji Vilain, and Jay Ward show off some strong moments.

Syndication: The Tennessean
Minnesota Vikings tight end Nick Muse (34) gets around Tennessee Titans safety Mike Brown (44) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

Not everyone performed well, though, and that’ll obviously factor into the difficult decisions that are now directly in front of O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah.

Very likely, the Vikings won’t constrain their 53-man roster to just the players in Minnesota right now. Every team needs to let go of talented players by the set deadline on August 29th and we can be sure that Adofo-Mensah’s staff is keeping a close eye on certain players. Moreover, we can’t totally discount the possibility of signing more well-known free agent or pulling off a trade. Alas, those are eventualities that are difficult to predict (try as we might).

Take a look at my final attempt to predict what the roster will look like on Tuesday, August 29th. And a shout out to Josh Frey for the helpful information on Brian Flores’ past defenses.

A 53-Man Roster Projection for the Vikings

— Offense —

Quarterback

QB1: Kirk Cousins
QB2: Nick Mullens
QB3: Jaren Hall
QB4: Jordan Ta’amu

TOTAL: 3

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) tosses the ball to running back DeWayne McBride (37) as they face the Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

Running Back

RB1: Alexander Mattison
RB2: Ty Chandler
RB3: DeWayne McBride
RB4: Kene Nwangwu
RB5: Aaron Dykes
RB6: Abram Smith

TOTAL: 3

Fullback

FB1: C.J. Ham

TOTAL: 1

Wide Receiver

WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: Jordan Addison
WR3: K.J. Osborn
WR4: Jalen Nailor
WR5: Brandon Powell
WR6: Jalen Reagor
WR7: Trishton Jackson
WR8: Blake Proehl
WR9: Thayer Thomas
WR10: Lucky Jackson
WR11: Garett Maag
WR12: Jacob Copeland

TOTAL: 5

4 Veteran Vikings
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell (19) returns a punt as they face the Titans at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023.

Tight End

TE1: T.J. Hockenson
TE2: Josh Oliver
TE3: Johnny Mundt
TE4: Nick Muse
TE5: Colin Thompson
TE6: Ben Sims

TOTAL: 4

Offensive Tackle

OT1: Christian Darrisaw
OT2: Brian O’Neill
OT3: Oli Udoh
OT4: Blake Brandel
OT5: Vederian Lowe
OT6: Christian DiLauro
OT7: Jarrid Williams

TOTAL: 5

Guard

G1: Ezra Cleveland
G2: Ed Ingram
G3: Chris Reed
G4: Josh Sokol
G5: Jack Snyder

TOTAL: 2

Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings guard Ed Ingram (67) defends against Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Vernon Butler (94) in the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Center

C1: Garrett Bradbury
C2: Austin Schlottmann
C3: Alan Ali

TOTAL: 2

FULL OFFENSE: 25 Players.

— Defense — 

Outside Linebacker

OLB1: Danielle Hunter
OLB2: Marcus Davenport
OLB3: D.J. Wonnum
OLB4: Patrick Jones II
OLB5: Andre Carter II
OLB6: Luiji Vilain
OLB7: Benton Whitley

TOTAL: 5

Defensive Line

DL1: Harrison Phillips
DL2: Khyiris Tonga
DL3: Dean Lowry
DL4: Jonathan Bullard
DL5: Jaquelin Roy
DL6: Esezi Otomewo
DL7: Ross Blacklock
DL8: Sheldon Day
DL9: T.J. Smith
DL10: Calvin Avery
DL11: Junior Aho

TOTAL: 6

DL Jonathan Bullard
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jonathan Bullard (93) during the NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Middle Linebacker

MLB1: Jordan Hicks
MLB2: Brian Asamoah
MLB3: Troy Reeder
MLB4: Ivan Pace Jr.
MLB5: Troy Dye
MLB6: Tanner Vallejo
MLB7: Abraham Beauplan
MLB8: Wilson Huber

TOTAL: 3

Cornerback

CB1: Byron Murphy
CB2: Akayleb Evans
CB3: Andrew Booth Jr.
CB4: Mekhi Blackmon
CB5: Joejuan Williams
CB6: Tay Gowan
CB7: Kalon Barnes
CB8: C.J. Coldon
CB9: NaJee Thompson
CB10: Jaylin Williams

CB11: Jameson Houston

TOTAL: 6

NFL: Preseason-Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks
Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jake Bobo (19) runs the ball in for a touchdown past Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) during the second half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Safety

S1: Harrison Smith
S2: Josh Metellus
S3: Lewis Cine
S4: Camryn Bynum
S5: Jay Ward
S6: Theo Jackson
S7: Jake Gervase

TOTAL: 5

FULL DEFENSE: 25 Players.

— Special Teams —

Kicker

K1: Greg Joseph

TOTAL: 1

Punter

P1: Ryan Wright

TOTAL: 1

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings place kicker Greg Joseph (1) is congratulated by punter Ryan Wright (14) after kicking a field goal against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a wild card game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Long Snapper

LS: Andrew DePaola

TOTAL: 1

FULL SPECIAL TEAMS: 3 Players.





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