I am making a guess at the 53 man roster after week 2. I have gone with youth over veteran experience at many of the depth positions.
I will give explanations after the offense and defense.
offense | # | Pos. | DOB | W | H | College
Brandon Fusco | 63 | C | 11.30.99 | 306 | 6-4 | Slippery Rock
John Sullivan | 65 | C | 8.8.85 | 301 | 6-4 | Notre Dame
Steve Hutchinson | 76 | G | 11.1.77 | 313 | 6-5 | Michigan
Seth Olsen | 78 | G | 12.17.85 | 308 | 6-5 | Iowa
Chris DeGeare | 72 | OL | 2.17.87 | 325 | 6-4 | Wake Forest
Charlie Johnson | 73 | OT | 5.2.84 | 305 | 6-4 | Oklahoma State
Patrick Brown | 79 | OT | 12.25.86 | 310 | 6-5 | U-C-F | 7
Phil Loadholt | 71 | OT | 1.21.86 | 343 | 6-8 | Oklahoma
DeMarcus Love | 75 | OT | 3.7.88 | 315 | 6-4 | Arkansas
Donovan McNabb | 5 | QB | 11.25.76 | 240 | 6-2 | Syracuse
Christian Ponder | 7 | QB | 2.25.88 | 229 | 6-2 | Florida State
Joe Webb | 14 | QB | 11.14.86 | 220 | 6-4 | U-A-B
Adrian Peterson | 28 | RB | 3.21.85 | 217 | 6-1 | Oklahoma
Toby Gerhart | 32 | RB | 3.28.87 | 231 | 6-0 | Stanford
Lorenzo Booker | 27 | RB | 6.14.84 | 191 | 5-10 | Florida State
Visanthe Shiancoe | 81 | TE | 6.18.80 | 240 | 6-4 | Morgan State
Kyle Rudolph | 82 | TE | 11.9.89 | 259 | 6-6 | Notre Dame
Allen Reisner | 89 | TE | 9.29.88 | 248 | 6-3 | Iowa
Jim Kleinsasser | 40 | TE | 1.31.77 | 272 | 6-3 | North Dakota
Percy Harvin | 12 | WR | 5.28.88 | 184 | 5-11 | Florida
Michael Jenkins | 84 | WR | 6.18.82 | 215 | 6-4 | Ohio State
Devin Aromashodu | 19 | WR | 5.23.84 | 201 | 6-2 | Auburn
Juaquin Iglesias | 84 | WR | 8.22.87 | 205 | 6-1 | Oklahoma
Emmanuel Arceneaux | 16 | WR | 9.17.87 | 211 | 6-2 | Alcorn State
Stephen Burton | 86 | WR | 12.11.89 | 221 | 6-1 | West Texas A&M
I went with 9 offensive linemen, 4 tight ends, 6 wide receivers, 3 running backs, & 3 quarterbacks for a total of 25.
I figure the starting offensive line will be Johnson, Hutchinson, Sullivan, DeGeare, & Loadholt. I like Olsen, Brown, Love, & Fusco as the backups. The oldest player is Hutchinson who is 33 and then Johnson who is 27. I really cannot see them cutting either of the rookies they drafted. They very well could go with Herrera and Cook instead of Olsen & Brown. I hope not. Here is one reason why. At 31, Herrera is due $2.65 million in base salary and has a salary-cap number of $3,583,333. Worse case with Herrera is they cut him and bring him back after the first week and for less. Also, he is still trying to recover from his surgeries and may not be totally ready (i.e., up to football speed) anyway. Olsen has played fairly well in these two games from my untrained eye. Brown I am not so sure so maybe Cook beats him out.
I went with 6 wide receivers and I like these youngsters who have size and speed. I feel they have shown a little in these preseason games and I think that they have more to show too. The oldest player in the group is Jenkins at 29. I think that since the Vikings may line up often in the two tight end sets, the 3rd wide receiver is not going to see a lot of snaps. Now that may be wrong and the 3rd wide receiver could see plenty of action. Still, I like Aromashodu over Berrian at this stage of their careers. Say what you want, but Cutler really did not want to lose Devin. He has speed and he goes and gets the ball. Iglesias has shown up in these two games as has Arceneaux notwithstanding his fumble. Burton is a player they like and cutting him is risky as another team may pick him up. I liken my choices to what Pittsburgh did last year. They drafted Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown in 2010. They kept both on the roster and they look for them to contribute more this year. The Vikings need some youth with plenty of upside at the wide receiver position. Worse case scenario is they pick up a veteran during the season as long as it is NOT for a 3rd round pick. Maybe even one of the players they release?
The running back and fullback selections are tricky because I chose only 3. But I like Kleinsasser and Reisner in the fullback role when needed. Also, Spielman did mention Stephen Burton as a possible HB type player moving forward. Maybe he lines up as a fullback once in a while too? This is tough because D'Imperio has flashed on special teams in these first two games. If they go 5 wide receivers maybe they keep D'Imperio or maybe he makes it over Reisner?
Obviously the tight end position is set and I think that Dugan could be the odd man out as he is looking like the 4th tight end right now.
defense | # | Pos. | DOB | W | H | College
Antoine Winfield | 26 | CB | 6.24.77 | 180 | 5-9 | Ohio State
Cedric Griffin | 23 | CB | 11.11.82 | 203 | 6-0 | Texas
Chris Cook | 31 | CB | 2.15.87 | 212 | 6-2 | Virginia
Asher Allen | 21 | CB | 1.22.88 | 194 | 5-9 | Georgia
Marcus Sherels | 35 | CB | 9.30.87 | 175 | 5-10 | Minnesota
Brandon Burton | 36 | DB | 7.31.89 | 185 | 6-0 | Utah
Mistral Raymond | 30 | DB | 9.7.88 | 194 | 6-1 | South Florida
Husain Abdullah | 39 | S | 7.27.85 | 204 | 6-0 | Washington State
Tyrell Johnson | 25 | S | 5.19.85 | 207 | 6-0 | Arkansas State
Jamarca Sanford | 33 | S | 8.27.85 | 200 | 5-10 | Ole Miss
Jared Allen | 69 | DE | 4.3.82 | 270 | 6-6 | Idaho State
Adrian Awasom | 67 | DE | 10.25.83 | 280 | 6-5 | North Texas
Everson Griffen | 97 | DE | 12.22.87 | 273 | 6-3 | U-S-C
D'Aundre Reed | 92 | DE | 1.1.88 | 261 | 6-4 | Arizona * maybe this becomes Stylez G. White
Brian Robison | 96 | DE | 4.28.83 | 259 | 6-3 | Texas
Remi Ayodele | 92 | DT | 4.22.83 | 318 | 6-2 | Oklahoma
Christian Ballard | 99 | DT | 1.3.89 | 283 | 6-4 | Iowa
Letroy Guion | 98 | DT | 6.21.87 | 303 | 6-4 | Florida State
Kevin Williams | 93 | DT | 8.16.80 | 311 | 6-5 | Oklahoma State
Chad Greenway | 52 | LB | 1.12.83 | 242 | 6-2 | Iowa
Erin Henderson | 50 | LB | 7.1.86 | 244 | 6-3 | Maryland
E.J. Henderson | 56 | LB | 8.3.80 | 245 | 6-1 | Maryland
Jasper Brinkley | 54 | LB | 7.12.85 | 252 | 6-1 | South Carolina
Larry Dean | 51 | LB | 8.7.88 | 216 | 6-0 | Valdosta State
Ross Homan | 57 | LB | 3.5.87 | 240 | 6-1 | Ohio State
I went with 6 corner backs, 4 safeties, 6 linebackers, & 9 defensive linemen for a total of 25.
I think the Vikings have 6 corner backs that should make the team. If they release any of the 6, they will get picked up IMHO. Sherels is proving he needs to be on the 53 man roster. You cannot teach speed and he has plenty of it. I like Allen myself. He is a little out of position as an outside corner but I think he can handle the nickle or dime spots (i.e., facing the 3rd and 4th wide receivers on another team). Burton is doing OK so far and releasing him serves no purpose when he really has not had much of a chance. That pretty much goes for all the draft picks. Why draft them and then release them when they have not had the benefit of a proper off season?
I went with four safeties. I think Frampton is the odd man out due to the fact I have them keeping 6 corners and because he has not shown that he can actually back up that position. I know that he is one of the best on special teams but they will just have to go with Raymond, Sherels, Burton, and others to fill the void. I could see them adding a player that may get cut later if they are not happy with Sanford or Johnson. I think Abdullah and Raymond are safe.
At linebacker, I went with the obvious starters and Brinkley of course. Then I decided in this youth movement to go with the youngsters. I think Homan makes the team because of the reason I stated above. Plus he does not look bad. Dean is the real deal IMHO and they need to keep him. I am not sure he will pass through waivers either. If Kenny Onatolu can recover from his injury and show something in these last two weeks then maybe he makes the team. But not right now.
I think the defensive line is set pretty much. You have the 5 ends and 4 tackles. Now Fred Evans could squeeze out someone like Reed. I think it all comes down to the possible suspension of KWill which I am hoping the league will announce something BEFORE the final cuts. Maybe they go 10 DL and 9 DB?
Conan Amituanai | 60 | OL | 1.20.88 | 335 | 6-4 | Arizona
Thomas Welch | 66 | OT | 6.19.87 | 310 | 6-7 | Vanderbilt
Ryan D'Imperio | 44 | FB | 8.15.87 | 241 | 6-2 | Rutgers
Tristan Davis | 20 | RB | 5.6.86 | 212 | 5-10 | Auburn
Andre Holmes | 15 | WR | 6.16.88 | 206 | 6-5 | Hillsdale
Devon Torrence | 29 | CB | 5.8.89 | 199 | 6-0 | Ohio State
Simeon Castille | 22 | DB | 10.12.85 | 190 | 6-0 | Alabama
Colby Whitlock | 66 | DT | 8.28.88 | 294 | 6-3 | Texas Tech
Of course the pracitce squad is a total guess but some of the players were there last year. I think they need to have at least a running back for sure.
Scott Kooistra | 60 | OT | 10.14.80 | 335 | 6-6 | North Carolina State
Ryan Cook | 62 | OT | 5.8.83 | 328 | 6-6 | New Mexico
Jeff Dugan | 83 | TE | 4.8.81 | 258 | 6-4 | Maryland
Rhett Bomar | 3 | QB | 7.2.85 | 225 | 6-2 | Sam Houston State
Bernard Berrian | 87 | WR | 12.27.80 | 185 | 6-1 | Fresno State
Greg Camarillo | 85 | WR | 4.18.82 | 190 | 6-1 | Stanford
Jaymar Johnson | 11 | WR | 7.10.84 | 176 | 6-0 | Jackson State
Eric Frampton | 37 | S | 2.6.84 | 205 | 5-11 | Washington State
Fred Evans | 90 | DT | 11.6.83 | 305 | 6-4 | Texas State
Heath Farwell | 59 | LB | 12.31.81 | 235 | 6-0 | San Diego State
Kenny Onatolu | 55 | LB | 10.8.82 | 225 | 6-2 | Nebraska-Omaha
Mark Washington | 58 | LB | 8.20.85 | 258 | 6-3 | Texas State
Jon Cooper | 68 | C | 10.1.86 | 291 | 6-2 | Oklahoma
Rod Huntley | 61 | OL | 1.1.00 | 320 | 6-3 | UTEP
Byron Isom | 58 | OL | 1.1.00 | 302 | 6-3 | Auburn
Matt Asiata | 48 | FB | 7.24.87 | 220 | 5-11 | Utah
Alexander Robinson | 34 | RB | 1.1.00 | 191 | 5-9 | Iowa Stae
Ed Barham | 42 | TE | 1.1.00 | 260 | 6-3 | North Carolina
Dominique Johnson | 18 | WR | 1.1.00 | 225 | 6-4 | Cal Poly
Cord Parks | 24 | CB | 11.12.86 | 178 | 5-10 | Northeastern
Tony Carter | 49 | DB | 5.24.86 | 175 | 5-9 | Florida State
Chris Adingupu | 41 | S | 1.1.00 | 197 | 6-1 | Prairie View
Ryan Hill | 43 | S | - | 205 | 6-0 | Miami (FL)
David Akinniyi | 60 | DE | - | 262 | 6-4 | North Carolina State
Cedric McKinley | 61 | DE | 3.26.87 | 250 | 6-5 | Minnesota
Tremaine Johnson | 95 | DT | 9.25.85 | 285 | 6-2 | L-S-U
Jonathan Gilmore | 47 | LB | 1.1.00 | 295 | 6-4 | Western Oregon
Nate Whitaker | 9 | K | 1.1.00 | 185 | 5-9 | Stanford
The cuts made will save a nice amount of money too. Berrian is at 2 mil, Dugan is at 775K, Cook has to be over 1 mil, Camarillo is at 1.7 mil, Frampton should be close to 1 mil if not more since he made more in 2010, Evans has to be over 1 mil, Farwell is at 1.75 mil, & Onatolu is around 500K.
Depending on how much counts against the cap the Vikings could save close to 10 mil with these cuts. That money could be used to give to AP & Chad in new deals. They would be able to load up the first year of their deals and then have the next couple of years count less against the cap.
Well this is only a quick look at the 53 man roster at week 2. I think that it is probably a bit far fetched and the guys I have getting cut will not be cut. But this is a youth movement scenario.
If the roster did look like this on week 1, then the highest salaries for 2012 not counting AP & Chad of course would be Winfield at 7 mil, KWill at 7 mil, Hucthinson at 6.95 mil, Griffen at 4.1 mil, & Allen at 11.62 mil. Salaries coming off the books would be Kleinsasser at 3 mil, EJ at 4.7 mil, & Shiancoe at 3.1 mil. That is 10.8 mil right there.
If the Vikings do not go with the youth movement and keep Berrian, Herrera, Farwell, Camarillo, Frampton, Cook, Evans, & Onatolu then I believe all of their salaries will come off the books next year too. That will be another 12 mil or so off the books too.
I suppose it all depends on how much the coaching staff trusts the younger players to step up.
Here is an idea I have been mulling. What if the Vikings trade a 2nd round pick to the Patriots for Matt Light? He is making 7 mil this year ...
7/31/2011: Signed a two-year, $12 million contract. The deal contains $7 million guaranteed, including a $6 million signing bonus. 2011: $1 million,
2012: $3.4 million (+ $100,000 workout bonus), 2013: Free Agent
I do not know if they paid him that signing bonus yet or not. The reason why I bring it up is because they selected Nate Solder and they have been playing him a lot with the first string during the preseason games thus far. If they do it again this week then maybe they are willing to move Light?
I think a 2nd round pick would do it although I would hope it could be a 3rd round pick.
But why would the Patriots do this? Well they drafted the rookie and want to play him right away so I expect at some point they will trade Light like they did Seymour. If not this year then definitely next year. I doubt they keep Solder on the bench for two years.
I would not mind adding a Matt Light. That would make the line Light, Hutch, Sullivan, Johnson, & Loadholt. Not bad. Brown would be waived obvisouly.
And if Dallas releases Andre Gurode then maybe the Vikings take a look at him. That would be nice too. Trading for him would be tough as he is making about 5.5 mil this year. I am not sure the Vikings could squeeze him and Light into the cap. They would have to extend either Chad or AP right away and make all the cuts above.
Obviously the Light deal is a complete fantasy of mine but I do believe it is not all that far fetched and I would give them a call to check the interest.
Finally, it is time to give a quick mock draft (as I like to do) for next year. It is never too early. I will base this off of the 53 man roster above and with no new additions like Light and Gurode. I will base this off of an 8-8 season which should put the Vikings right about 15 or 16.
15. Riley Reiff OT 6-6 300 4.94 Iowa
47. Ray Ray Armstrong SS 6-4 216 4.54 Miami
79. Tank Carder OLB 6-2 236 4.67 TCU
97. Ladarius Green TE 6-6 236 4.64 comp pick for Rice
112. Keenan Robinson OLB 6-3 238 4.68 Texas
130. Brandon Washington OG 6-4 320 5.36 Miami comp pick for Edwards
no fifth round pick as this goes to Washington for McNabb
184. Joe Adams WR 5-11 180 4.38 Arkansas
222. Stephen Garcia QB 6-2 230 4.85
I picked another TE because of the two TE set and with Shiancoe & Kleinsasser in the last year of their deals, they may need another young one. Green is a very good pass catcher. I think one of the linebackers can play MIKE (Carder) and since EJ is also in the last year of his deal they may go that route.
Well there it is and pretty much true to form for me. Obviously I am no coach or scout and I am not quitting my day job. But this is entertaining for me to try and guess what the front office will do with the roster as of today.
Feel free to ridicule me at you will and offer any suggestions/corrections as you see fit.