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The NFL hasn't been covert when it comes to their intentions of expanding the brand into new markets -- both domestically and internation...
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Minnesota Vikings Final 53 and Practice Squad Predictions

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Minnesota Vikings Final 53 and Practice Squad Predictions
QB:(3): Cassel, Bridgewater, Ponder (Locks)

Many thought Ponder could be on the chopping block, but Coach Mike Zimmer squashed all thoughts by saying they will not carry only 2 Qb's.

RB:(3): Peterson, McKinnon (Locks) and Asiata,

The main question is here Banyard or Asiata? Against the Cardinals Banyard had a great game, but I think with Asiata's experience last year he will make the club over Banyard.

FB: (1): Felton

This is actually a tough call, to keep Felton or go with Zack Line out of SMU. They could go with either as neither are getting much playing time this preseason, one could even beleive that they keep 4 RB's and cut both Felton and Line and keep Joe Banyard.

TE:(3): Rudolph, Ellison (Locks), Allen Reisner or Chase Ford (PUP)

Reisner has been here before. He has had a great Camp and preseason, but with Chase Ford you have a greater upside. If Chase can stay healthy and show that before final cuts, he will make the team, but if he remains injured there is a good change that Reisner takes his roster spot or Ford ends up on the PUP list again.

WR:(5): Jennings, Patterson, Wright, Thielen (Locks) Rod Smith, with Simpson (suspended)

I beleive that Adam Theilan has done enough to lock up a roster spot. He may have even shown enough to cut ties with Sherels and take his Punting duties. Rodney Smith has great size, and showed he can play when the game is on the line last week. He will have a few weeks to show what he can do with Simpson suspended, but most likely will get boot after Simpsons suspension is over.

O-Line: (5) Starters Kalil, Johnson, Sullivan, Fusco, Loadholt (Locks)

Nothing changes in the starting five. This is great news for Vikings fans.

Back up O-line:

G: (3)Yankey, Berger (Locks) and Baca

I think both Yankey and Berger are locks to make the club. Yankey has played well as a 2014 draft pick, and Berger hasnt played bad enough and shows versitility with backing up Sullivan at Center as well. The last back up Guard spot is tricky. Baca has been pretty solid since being drafted Last year, but the Vikings brought in Vlad Ducasse to compete, but it was only a one year deal and Speilman will want to keep his draft pick from last year.

T: (2) Antonio "Tiny" Richardson and Austin Wentworth

Undrafted Tiny Richardson has shown he can play in this league I would almost put him as a lock, except the fact that they probably want to slide him on the practice squad, however if they do that I think another team will claim him meaning they will have to keep him on the final 53. The last back-up lineman spot is up for grabs. Maybe Ducasse even takes this spot on the pick, but I like what i've seem from Wentworth, and hope he makes the team.

DT(4): Joseph, Floyd, Evans (Locks) and Tom Johnson

I would like to see Shamar Stephen of Isame Faciance over take Tom Johnson's roster spot I think both will be more of an asset on the Practice squad. The others are locks to make the team.

DE:(4): Robison, Griffen, Crichton, Wootton (Locks)

There should be no surprises here.

LB:(7): Barr, Brinkley, Greenway, Hodges, Mauti, Cole(Locks) and Dean

This is another hard position to predict. I think the first 6 are essentially locks to make the club, with Dean being a Special Teams beast also making the club. Brandon Watts a 2014 6th round pick has also played well. I wouldn't be surpised if somehow Watts makes the team and Dean is let go, but its hard to see that. If Watts is cut they would hope to add him to the Practice Squad.

CB:(6): Cox, Munnerlyn, Rhodes, Robinson, Exum, Sherels

Josh Robinson has been hear a lot this preseason, and had found himself is Zimmers doghouse. This could result in him being let go, but I don't think Speilman will let that happen. I have Exum making the team but in reality it could be Kendall James, Jabari Price or Exum. The two who they cut will most likely end up on the Practice squad. Also if Theilan takes Sherels return duties one of the draft picks could move up and Sherels could be cut.

S:(4): Smith (Lock), Blanton, Coleman, Sanford

Another tough call. Zimmer brought in Chris Crocker, I just dont see how he makes the team. Blanton has been the favorite to win the starting job next to Smith but injuries have slowed him down. Andrew Sendejo has been a stud on special teams, and played well with Smith hurt last year, but I think he and Mistral Raymond are the odd men out meaning Jamarca Sanford wins the last spot.

Special teams (3): Loeffler, Walsh, Locke (Locks)
Nothing chages.

That's 25 offensive guys, 25 defensive guys, and three special teams guys, a total of 53 players.

Practice Squad: (10) Kendall James, Jabari Price, Shamar Stephen, Brandon Watts (2014 Draft picks), Joe Banyard, Zach Line, Kain Coulter, Isame Faciance, the rest will most likely be from other teams.

Joe Banyard, Brandon Watts, Zack Line and Shamar Stephen will be the top candidates for another team to claim, but im hoping they slide through and make it to the Vikings practice squad.

When Simpson is back. Rod smith is cut unless he lights it up which 5th receivers rarely do. Sherels may get cut and Thielen may be the punt return man. If that happens then one of the 2014 draft picks, Mistral Raymond or Andrew Sandejo make it. Either way, I'm glad I do not have to make these decisions.

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I think Watts makes the squad over Mauti. Reading between the lines this preseason it sounds as though Mauti lacks the athleticism Zimmer wants in his defense. All the instinct in the world isn't enough if you can't run.


All based on reading reports from camp, of course.

Dylon Ackerman
Aug 22 2014 01:27 PM

You could be correct. I know they like Brandon Watts a lot, and would risk losing him by trying to slide him to the practice squad and may decide that is a risk they don't want to take. If Larry Dean makes the team is will be based solely on his special team skills, which means they could also keep Mauti over Dean if they pick Watts to make the final 53.

Just so you know, there's no way the Vikings are going to carry 10 O-linemen. They will carry 9 at most but likely will stay with 8.


Everything else you said sounded pretty good.

    • Dylon Ackerman likes this

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