Vikings Roster Analysis
Over the next couple of weeks I will take a look at the Vikings roster. I will give my opinion on each player and project who makes the team. First up the secondary:
Last year’s secondary made history as one of the least efficient to ever play. With a total of eight interceptions the pass defense ranked near the bottom in every statistic. In dire need of a youth/talent surplus Speilman went into the offseason with a plan. He signed three players and drafted another three. The unit will look markedly different and may not have a single starter from the last game in the opening day line up.
20 Cook, Chris CB 6-2 212 25
With an immense amount of potential Chris cook flashed number one cornerback ability in limited action last year. If he can stay on the field for an entire season the Vikings defense should improve majorly against the pass. Has the size speed and strength to match up with the bigger receivers from the division. Pro bowl caliber player.
26 Winfield, Antoine CB 5-9 180 34
Antoine Winfield has been a consistently good cornerback over his career. Returning from injury should also give the Vikings a huge boost. His run support ability is still tops in the league; he is also not a liability in coverage. His leadership in the secondary cannot go unnoticed either.
31 Robinson, Josh CB 5-10 199 20
Speed, athleticism and youth are something's the Vikings sorely lacked last year. Raw with his technique and overall feel for the game Robinson still brings game changing ability to a unit that was plagued by inconsistency and lack of big plays. He should play right away in the nickel an on special teams
25 Carr, Chris CB 5-10 182 29
Carr is a veteran sub package player that should bring depth and play making ability to the Vikings unit. He has been productive at times. Injuries last year affected his play and are likely a reason he came cheap. If he can regain his per injury form he should contribute in a big way.
27 Burton, Brandon CB 5-11 190 22
With nice size and decent athleticism Burton is a young corner that hasn't yet earned his keep. He should remain on the roster in his second year but has to show some things to warrant a roster spot. He has the talent but struggles with inconsistent play. He should benefit greatly from the offseason program, in which he did not have his rookie year. The talent is there.
35 Sherels, Marcus CB 5-10 175 24
Without much size at just 5'10 175 pounds Sherels is limited to sub package duties. Still a young player Sherels is however very fast. He also did an admirable job of punt returning. Logic says that he sticks on the practice squad; reality says he probably won't last on the waiver wire. The Vikings could use his speed but won't sacrifice productivity for speed.
24 Bowman, Zack CB 6-1 196 27
He has the size of a number one cornerback and has been a productive player in the NFL. If he makes the roster he will have to find a way to be consistent and better than he was last year with the bears.
21 Allen, Asher CB 5-9 194 24
Allen has shown steady improvement in each of his first years; unfortunately he is still not as productive or efficient enough to guarantee a roster spot. There was a point in the season last year that he shadowed the opponent’s top receiver. That shows the confidence in Allen from the coaching staff even if it did not result in a favorable outcome.
39 Taylor, Nicholas DB 5-9 165 24
A speedy young inexperienced player, Taylor has flashed some this off-season. His chance will come via the practice squad.
41 Raymond, Mistral S 6-1 202 23
With exceptional length and adequate athleticism Raymond has the tools to become a solid starter. Last ear he seemed timid and reluctant to play fast. He is raw and will need to add bulk to be able to hold up over an NFL season. Like many other rookies Raymond should benefit from a full offseason in which he can learn and grow. His story is extraordinary and somehow I feel like he will overcome his deficiencies to become a consistent starter.
22 Smith, Harrison S 6-2 214 23
Smith has first round pedigree and is expected to come in and be a day one starter. He will be looked upon to solidify a group that was poor to say the least. He brings a dimension of tackling and playmaking ability that the Vikings have lacked for quite sometime. He was not the flashy pick but somehow I get the feeling we will look back and be happy with the selection.
33 Sanford, Jamarca S 5-10 200 26
Expectations were relatively high heading into last season for Sanford. He lead the team in interceptions by was out of sorts in pass coverage for the majority of the year. He proved that he is not a starting caliber safety, but can be a special teams demon and reliable spot starter. He will have to battle with three safeties from the past two drafts for playing time.
36 Blanton, Robert S 6-1 200 22
A former Golden Domer stand out that was drafted as a corner but is expected to be moved to safety. Not possessing ideal cornerback speed, Blanton does not however lack physicality and mental prowess to be successful. He will be counted on to bring playmaking ability to the position.
37 Frampton, Eric S 5-11 205 28
A Veteran special teams ace whose value has all but diminished with the new rules in place, Frampton did not get a starting look on a historically bad secondary. I think he has to battle with Sanford to make the roster.
There is hope for this group. As far as adding talented young players the goal was reached. From the draft there could be a total of three new starters. If Speilman continues with his youth movement I could see an entire starting secondary under the age of 26 with the exception of Winfield.