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Vikings 53 Man Roster Projection

With the first round of cuts looming, let's take a stab at this

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

This is a busy week in the NFL. By 3 PM Central tomorrow, teams have to go from 90 down to 75 players. Thursday, Sept. 1st, is the final preseason game for everyone, then the last round of cuts down to 53 players comes NLT 3 PM Central on Saturday the 3rd, a scant two days later.

The cut down to 75 has already begun, but as of this writing, the Vikings hadn't announced any moves. So, let's try and figure out who the final 53 players will be come Saturday, less than a week away:

EDIT: OL Sean Hickey has been reportedly cut.

Offense, 25:

QB (2):

In: Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill

Cut: Joel Stave

Reasoning: I think the Vikes will only go with two until Taylor Heinicke is healthy, then add him to the active roster. But I give a tip of the cap to Joel Stave, who played much better than I had anticipated, well enough to land on a practice squad somewhere. But with Teddy entrenched and the Vikings fond of Heinicke, I don't think that somewhere will be in Minnesota. they could temporarily go with three, but I think they roll the dice and hope Teddy doesn't get hurt. I mean, if he does, everything sucks and the world ends anyways, and at that point I won't care if the Vikes have two or 20 QB's on the roster, because the one that matters won't be able to play and everything will be horrible.

RB (3):

In: Adrian Peterson, Jerick McKinnon, Matt Asiata

Cut: C.J. Ham, Jhurrell Pressley

Reasoning: Pretty straight forward here. Peterson, McKinnon, and Asiata all have well established roles, and neither Pressley or Ham did anything that particularly stood out over Jet or Asiata. I could see Ham landing a spot on the practice squad, though. We'll see.

FB (1):

In: Zach Line

Cut: Blake Renaud

Reasoning: The Vikings like using the fullback almost more than anyone in the NFL, it seems. Zach Line is a good lead blocker for Peterson, and he's better than Renaud.

WR (6):

In: Laquon Treadwell, Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Adam Thielen, Jarius Wright

Cut: Moritz Boehringer, Isaac Freuchte, Marken Michel, Terrell SInkfield, Troy Stoudermire

Reasoning: I don't see the Vikings cutting Jarius Wright, but if there's a surprise here, it would be Stoudermire over JW. Stoudermire has played well in multiple roles so far this exhibition season, and it seems that there are at least two moments during a game this year where I hear his name and I think to myself 'hey, nice play'. However, that doesn't mean he's better than Wright or any of the other five guys, but I do think he's a strong candidate for the practice squad. As for MoBo, the feel good story of the off-season, a theory has popped up that the Vikings aren't playing him because they don't want teams to see any game film of him. Why? So when they cut him, no one will claim him and they can re-sign him to the practice squad. Is that why he isn't playing, or is it because he just isn't very good? We'll find out.

OL (9):

In: Matt Kalil, Alex Boone, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco, Andre Smith, Joe Berger, T.J. Clemmings, Willie Beavers, Austin Shepherd

Cut: Zac Kerin, Nick Easton, Jeremiah Sirles, Isame Faciane, Sean Hickey, Carter Bykowski

Reasoning: The last two line spots are going to be tough choices. Beavers hasn't been impressive, but he's a rookie and the Vikings don't cut 4th rounders and below their first year, so he's in. Shepherd could just as easily be Easton, but unless the Vikings don't want to pay Sullivan, I don't see them picking one of those two guys over the veteran. And in all honesty, I think Faciane has pounded the hell out of outplayed Beavers, which is doubly impressive considering Faciane was a defensive lineman this time last year, but I still say the Vikes look to fool around with choose Beavers.

TE (4):

In: Kyle Rudolph, MyCole Pruitt, Rhett Ellison, David Morgan

Cut: Brian Leonhardt, Kyle Carter

Reasoning: Could the Vikes only go with three tight ends and maybe add another offensive or defensive lineman, or maybe keep Stave as the third QB until Heinicke is healthy? Yeah, of course they could...but David Morgan has earned a roster spot. The guy just makes plays and his busted his tail, and it would be nice to see that kind of effort rewarded.

Defense, 25:

DL (8):

In: Brian Robison, Linval Joseph, Shariff Floyd, Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Tom Johnson, Justin Trattou, Shamar Stephen

Cut: Thieren Cockran, Scott Crichton,Kenrick Ellis, Claudell Louis, Zach Moore, Denzell Perine, Stephen Weatherley

Reasoning: This seems pretty cut and dried, and it looks like the Scott Crichton era will come to an end, unless the Vikings put him on IR. Overall, this might be the best defensive line in the NFL, especially when you consider the depth. I'm not kidding when I say that Hunter, Johnson, and Trattou could probably start on a number of teams in the NFL, and could form three of four starters on more than one.

LB (7):

In: Chad Greenway, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Emmanuel Lamur, Audie Cole, Kentrell Brothers, Brandon Watts

Cut: Jake Ganus, Terrance Plummer, Edmond Robinson

Reasoning: You could flip Watts and Robinson, but I think the other six are stone cold locks. Lamur might overtake Greenway by the end of the season, but no one else on the list of guys getting cut would, so Greenway is safe for his final season as a Viking.

DB (10--6 cornerbacks, 4 safeties):

In: Xavier Rhodes, Terence Newman, Trae Waynes, Captain Munnerlyn, Mackensie Alexander, Marcus Sherels, Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo, Jayron Kearse, Antone Exum, Jr.

Cut: Jabari Price, Tre Roberson, Michael Griffin, Antony Harris

Reasoning: I think Griffin's relatively poor play this preseason, punctuated by his horrible angle on the Melvin Gordon TD run yesterday, makes me think the Vikings will go with a cheaper...and better...alternative. That kind of leaves Exum by default, as Harris has been hurt for most of the preseason. As for Kearse, he's played as well as any of the reserves, and I would be stunned to see him not make the team. At CB, the Vikings are deep, and could still look to sign Tre Roberson to the practice squad, another guy that's made the switch to the other side of the ball and hasn't been all that bad.

Special Teams (3):

In: Blair Walsh, Jeff Locke, Kevin McDermott

Cut: Ummmmm....

Reasoning: Since there isn't any competition for any of the three spots, yeah...this was pretty easy.