Well, we are almost to the initial day of training camp, and around the corner from that is the HOF game; which kicks off the preseason. We have all been speculating, and it is almost time to actually see what the future of the 2013 Minnesota Vikings shapes up to be, as we the future starts to slowly become the present.
Now, in my humble opinion, we all know what 95% of the '13 Vikings is going to be, but every player counts, as a team must rely and have trust in every man that is on the roster from the league's best player; Adrian Peterson to the team's kicker; who I personally have not been as excited about a kicker since Gary Anderson. (Up until, well you all know when). In most cases kickers are only mentioned most of the time in the butt of jokes, but there is not any intelligent football fan that will be laughing at Blair Walsh, as not only with what he brings to the table with his very accurate, big leg which set records right out of the gate. Though, another much needed element he brings the Vikings is kicking the deep ball off on kick offs and tremendously helping in terms of field position. Which in my opinion did and will help Minnesota win games. And with a fifth round draft pick spent on Jeff Locke; we are expecting to see similar results in the punting game in terms of improving field position at a much cheaper price, as every dollar is important when building a roster with so much talent.
So lets first look at the players 95% of us think are already secured a place on the roster barring some kind of unforeseen incident or injury.
QBs: C. Ponder, M. Cassle
RBs: A. Peterson, T. Gerhart*
FB: J Felton
TEs: K. Rudolph, R. Ellison, J. Carlson
WRs: G. Jennings, J. Wright, C. Patterson, J. Simpson
OL: M. Kalil, J. Sullivan, P. Loadholt, C. Johnson*, B. Fusco,
DTs: K. Williams, S. Floyd, C. Ballard,
DEs: J. Allen, B. Robison, E. Griffen
LBs: C. Greenway, E. Henderson, D. Bishop
CBs: C. Cook, X Rhodes, J Robinson
Safeties: H. Smith, J. Sanford, M. Raymond
STs: C. Loeffler, B. Walsh, J. Locke
Now, that leaves nearly 20 spots open, though players like M. Mitchell, A.J. Jefferson, L. Jackson, J. Lacy, G. Hodges and several others will likely fill the remaining 95% of the roster. Interestingly enough there are several potentially really good players that are not going to make the roster. I do think J. Webb, G. Childs and M.Mauti will not only make the squad in spite their situations; I think they will have at least moderate contributions this year. Though in Mauti and Childs cases; it will likely be at least a few games in the season, if not later due to their injuries and the luxury Minnesota ha in being able to take their time with them because of the amount of talent available this year.
Players on the bubble who I feel have a future on the roster in Minnesota: E. Dawkins, T. Bond, Z. Line, J. Baca and possibly R. Smith and/or one of the Minnesota State wrs may stick around on the practice squad.
Now, the rest of the players I feel have a future in the league, but only chance to stay in Minnesota will be on the practice squad: B. Bishop, C. Ford, C. Baker, A. Cole, A. Thielen,
Veteran players I feel have a chance of being surprisingly cut or traded: T. Gerhart, C. Johnson, F. Evans, L. Guion, B. McCleod, M. Asiata, B. Burton, S. Burton.
There are still question marks about other players like D. Love and C. Summers, but by the start of the regular season I think we will all know definitively exactly what the future has in store for many of the players with potential that have managed to stick around whether on the sideline, IR or the practice squad, as the time has run out on the potential for a few players that must do something as room must be made for the new blood of this year and of course the next. Which names Vikings' fans have become somewhat familiar with do you think we will be seeing the last of this training camp and preseason?