Before we get to the final 53 man roster, an aside about the stadium deal, or lack thereof.
If I start talking about those jackasses in the Legislature and their stunning inability to lead, this will turn into a 2,000 word rant about the incompetence of everybody, and I want to enjoy some football. But you at least need to click the link and read, because if my Wheaties are going to be pissed in this morning, then your Wheaties are going to be pissed in.
Last night, the Vikings finished the pre-season with an impressive 28-0 victory over the Houston Texans. Yes, yes it was virtually all reserve that were playing, but 28-0 is 28-0.
I have my own ideas on the final 53, and I penciled them out last night after the game.
So did Tom Pelissero at 1500 ESPN and Mark Craig at the Strib, 2/3 of the Holy Trinity.
Naturally, I'm going to compare them with what I came up with, and while there's a lot of agreement, there's a fair amount of disagreement. Oh, and Craig's was done before last night's game, and Pelissero waited until after the game to do his. Jeremy Fowler didn't do one, or if he did, I can't find it.
But we will all defer to our own MarkSP18, of course.
Your 2011 Minnesota Vikings, after the jump.
Quarterback (3 Total):
Starter: Donovan McNabb (all three). Duh.
Back up: Christian Ponder, Joe Webb. (again, duh). I think Ponder did enough to be the #2 guy, but I have him #3 behind Webb. Look, Webb has a year of experience under his belt, and there's nothing wrong with Ponder sitting on the bench for a year with no pressure to play, unless things go really south. Peklissero didn't commit on a #2 guy, while Craig hinted at Webb, but didn't come out and say it.
Running Backs (3 Total)
Starter: Adrian Peterson. Quite possibly the biggest 'duh' in history.
All three say: Toby Gerhart, Lorenzo Booker.
Right now, neither Craig or Pelissero have a fullback making the roster. If you're Ryan D'Imperio, you have to be thinking 'what more do I have to do?', but this was probably set before the Vikings reported to Mankato. Both guys think, and I agree, that with the athleticism that the tight ends bring, you can flex them into the backfield as fullbacks, so let's hope guys like D'Imperio and Matt Asiata can get put on the practice squad.
Offensive Line (9 guys total):
Starters (from LT to RT): Charlie Johnson, Steve Hutchinson, John Sullivan, Anthony Herrera, Phil Loadholt
Craig says: G/T Ryan Cook, C Jon Cooper, LT Patrick Brown, G/T Chris DeGeare
Pelissero says: G/T Ryan Cook, C Jon Cooper,G/T Chris DeGeare, T DeMarcus Love
Ted says: C Jon Cooper, G/T Chris DeGeare, T DeMarcus Love, G/T Ryan Cook
I agree with Pelissero here. I think if the Vikes cut Love and try to clear him through waivers and getr him on the practice squad, they'll lose him, and that's not worth the risk. He has some potential, and I like him long term over Brown.
Wide Receivers (5 total):
Starters: Percy Harvin, Michael Jenkins, Bernard Berrian
Craig and Pelissero say: Greg Camarillo, Devin Aromashodu
Ted says: Greg Camarillo, Jaymar Johnson
Both Craig and and Pelissero think Cammy's salary (Craig says 1.5 mil, Pelly 1.75 mil, so take your pick) might be a factor that could cost him a roster spot, but I think he's safe. He's got sure hands and is a quality special teams guy. I think Johnson has played his way on to the team, and I'll be disappointed if he doesn't make it. If Cammy is a salary casualty, substitute Aramoshodu for me.
Tight Ends (4 total):
Starters: Visanthe Shiancoe, The People's Champion
Craig and Pelissero say: Kyle Rudolph, Jeff Dugan
Ted says: Kyle Rudolph, Allen Reisner
Craig and Pelissero are probably right, but every time I saw Reisner playing, he was doing good things, and like Love, trying to sneak him through waivers to get him on the practice squad is a big risk. With Shiancoe and Kleinsasser free agents at the end of the year, having two young guys like Rudolph and Reisner seems a good play to me. And with the probablity of using these guys as a fullback option, Reisner is even more appealing here. But Dugan is a good blocking back, and a solid veteran, so I can understand why the Vikings would go in that direction.
Defensive Line (9 total):
Starters (from left to right): Brian Robison, Kevin Williams, Remi Ayodele. Jared Allen.
Craig, Pelissero and Ted say: DE Everson Griffen, DL Christian Ballard, DT Letroy Guion, DE Adrian Awasom, DT Fred Evans
Not really a whole lot of surprises here, truth be told. You could maybe make an argument for Stylez White over Awasom, just because White is a vet, and how can you not have a guy with the name Stylez on the roster? But Awasom has had a great pre-season, and his play last night (two sacks) probably cemented him a spot.
Linebackers (7 total):
Starters: Chad Greenway, E.J. Henderson, Erin Henderson
Craig Says (He has seven): David Herron, Heath Farwell, Larry Dean, Kenny Onatolu
Pelissero Says (Only has six making it): Heath Farwell, Ross Homan, Kenny Onatolu
Ted says: Heath Farwell, Kenny Onatolu, Ross Homan
Jasper Brinkley getting hurt probably turns this from six deep to seven deep. They are razor thin at depth and experience past the starters, so going with an extra body here makes sense to me. That and the fact that all four backup guys are good special teams guys, seven seems like the right number here.
Cornerbacks (6 total):
Starters: Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin
Craig, Pelissero and Ted all say: Chris Cook, Marcus Sherels, Asher Allen, Brandon Burton
The last spot is going to be tough, and if you were to pick Cord Parks over Burton, I wouldn't argue. Hell, if you took Parks over Allen, I wouldn't argue, either. But Frazier pretty much said without saying Allen is on the team, so it is what it is.
Safeties (4 total):
Starters: Husain Abdullah, Jamrca Sanford
Craig and Pelissero say: Tyrell Johnson, Eric Frampton
Ted says: Eric Frampton, Mistral Raymond
Although Pelissero isn't sure who the starter is between Johnson and Sanford, both Craig and him have these four guys at safety. Tyrell Johnson nailed the lid in his coffin for me last night with the dropped pick. The guy has just fallen off the radar for me, and I'd rather take my chance with the younger guys (although Johnson is young, too) or maybe look to find decent veteran upgrade among the roster cuts. I think Johnson getting cut is a long shot, but I like Raymond and I hope he finds his way on to the practice squad if the Vikings don't keep him.
Specialists (3 total):
Chris Kluwe, Ryan Longwell, Colin Loeffler
Also, consider this your cutdown day open thread as well, and post your thoughts on the final 53 here, too.
Just don't talk to me about the stadium. It's Friday and I don't want my day ruined.