Before the Minnesota Vikings started announcing their cuts to get the roster down to 53, I decided to take a stab at what I thought the roster would look like when the dust had settled. So, how close did I end up getting? Well, since I'm looking for a way to kill the next 2 1/2 hours before waiver claims are awarded and practice squads are announced, let's take a look!
Starters are denoted by an asterisk.
My prediction: Matt Cassel*, Teddy Bridgewater, Christian Ponder (3)
Actual roster: Cassel*, Bridgewater, Ponder (3)
Really, this wasn't all that hard. The team appears to be keeping three quarterbacks. This will be much easier for some people to deal with than it will be for others.
My prediction: Adrian Peterson*, Matt Asiata, Jerick McKinnon (3)
Actual roster: Peterson*, Asiata, McKinnon (3)
Again, this one wasn't that tough. I'll repeat again that I'm not sure about the Asiata selection over Joe Banyard, but hey. . .I don't see these guys in practice every day. I am incredibly skeptical about Banyard clearing waivers again, though.
My prediction: Jerome Felton* (1)
Actual roster: Felton*, Zach Line (2)
This is the first thing that confused me a bit. I know that we talk a lot about MOAR FULLBACK, but there was debate about whether or not the Vikings would keep a fullback, and now they've decided to keep two. . .at least for now. Line might be a guy that winds up getting dropped after waiver claims come through.
My prediction: Kyle Rudolph*, Rhett Ellison, Allen Reisner (3)
Actual roster: Rudolph*, Ellison (2)
MOAR TIGHT END? Well, no, how about less? This is one position that the Vikings will almost certainly address in their waiver claims on Sunday, but I was still surprised to see them get rid of both Reisner and Chase Ford. We know that Norv Turner likes to make use of the tight end, but I'm not sure how they get one up to speed for Sunday at this point.
My prediction: Cordarrelle Patterson*, Greg Jennings*, Jarius Wright, Adam Thielen, Rodney Smith (5, with Jerome Simpson on suspension)
Actual roster: Patterson*, Jennings*, Wright, Thielen, Smith (5)
No real suspense with this one, particularly after Simpson's suspension. There are still a few questions about what the team is going to do when Simpson is eligible to return prior to Week 4's match-up with the Atlanta Falcons. Will either Thielen or Smith be cut? Will Simpson be released? Will the team carry six receivers and dump someone else? Fortunately, there are three weeks to come up with an answer, as well as see if any injuries occur.
My prediction: Matt Kalil*, Charlie Johnson*, John Sullivan*, Brandon Fusco*, Phil Loadholt*, Joe Berger, David Yankey, Antonio Richardson, Jeff Baca (9)
Actual roster: Kalil*, Johnson*, Sullivan*, Fusco*, Loadholt*, Berger, Yankey, Vladimir Ducasse, Austin Wentworth (9)
Well, I had the right number of guys on the o-line. . .just a couple of the wrong ones. Still surprised to see Wentworth make it, but he might be player #53 on the roster when it comes time for waiver claims and stuff. If that happens, he could still end up on the practice squad. And, as I've said, damn shame about Tiny Richardson. He probably would have made it had he not been injured again.
My prediction: Everson Griffen*, Sharrif Floyd*, Linval Joseph*, Brian Robison*, Corey Wootton, Tom Johnson, Fred Evans, Shamar Stephen, Scott Crichton (9)
Actual roster: Griffen*, Floyd*, Joseph*, Robison*, Wootton, Johnson, Stephen, Crichton (8)
Very few people saw the Evans cut coming, and I was no different. The team kept fewer defensive linemen than I thought they would, but will probably stash a couple on the practice squad. But, other than missing on Evans, I got the names right on this one. This is still probably the deepest group on the roster.
My prediction: Chad Greenway*, Jasper Brinkley*, Anthony Barr*, Audie Cole, Gerald Hodges, Michael Mauti (6)
Actual roster: Greenway*, Brinkley*, Barr*, Cole, Hodges, Mauti, Brandon Watts, Larry Dean (8)
The team has a lot of linebackers. . .at least one more than they need, and possibly two, in my opinion. I can't see a scenario where the team has eight linebackers on the roster after waiver claims are awarded, and they might try to sneak Watts onto the practice squad. Larry Dean is starting to get into the Marcus Sherels category of "he who cannot be cut," but we'll see if that trend holds after 11 AM Central time.
My prediction: Xavier Rhodes*, Captain Munnerlyn*, Josh Robinson, Marcus Sherels, Shaun Prater, Jabari Price (6)
Actual roster: Rhodes*, Munnerlyn*, Robinson, Sherels, Prater, Price (6)
The team has left themselves fairly well-stocked at corner (while leaving themselves a bit short at safety. . .more on that in a bit), and many wondered whether or not Josh Robinson would make the final cut, but there he is. Price made a pretty big impression in camp, Prater played well at the end of last year (and Mike Zimmer knew him last year in Cincinnati), and Sherels is on the team as much for his punt return skills as much as his (improving) coverage skills.
My prediction: Harrison Smith*, Chris Crocker*, Robert Blanton, Andrew Sendejo, Antone Exum (5)
Actual roster: Smith*, Blanton*, Sendejo, Exum (4)
I was as surprised as anyone by the team releasing both Crocker and Kurt Coleman. I didn't have Coleman making the squad, but I thought Crocker might stick as a safety blanket for Mike Zimmer, given the amount of injuries at the safety position the Vikings dealt with this pre-season. The team could address that in the waiver process on Sunday, but right now it appears that Blanton is your starter. . .almost by default.
My prediction: Blair Walsh, Jeff Locke, Cullen Loeffler (3)
Actual roster: Walsh, Locke, Loeffler (3)
Once again, no suspense here, either.
So, let's take a look at the final tally.
Players I had making the roster that did not: Chris Crocker, Fred Evans, Antonio Richardson, Jeff Baca, Allen Reisner
Players I did not have making the roster that did: Brandon Watts, Larry Dean, Vladimir Ducasse, Austin Wentworth, Zach Line
So, overall, it would appear that I went 48/53 in my predictions of the Vikings' 53-man roster, for a pretty respectable percentage of 90.6%. Solid A- on most scales, I think.
Of course, once we get word of the roster claims in about two hours. . .yeah, it took me that long to do this. . .this won't be terribly meaningful any more. But hey, it's fun to take a look.