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Three bubble players that make the Vikings 53

The team is already being cut down and it won’t be long until there’s only 53

Minnesota Vikings v Tennessee Titans Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Vikings already got to work late Friday afternoon when they began to cut several players. Thankfully the three players I picked are still on the roster, so that’s a relief. Keep up to date with roster cuts here at the Daily Norseman.

1. Holton Hill, Cornerback, Texas

Hill is looking for another chance after having some issues while at Texas. He was suspended last season for violating team rules, later he tested positive for marijuana.

For scouts, coaches and general managers, his off-the-field issues caused them to overlook his ability on-the-field. That resulted in him not being drafted, but the Vikings decided to see what he is capable of when the team signed him as an undrafted free agent.

Hill may have had a shaky first two games, but it’s fair to say that he somewhat showed growth in the final two games of the preseason. One thing that I like about Hill and it may sound obvious, but it’s his ability to tackle (despite his one missed tackle in the first quarter against Tennessee). Something that I notice in defensive backs is they sometimes struggle with tackling, a lot of missed tackles. Hill isn’t afraid to put his physicality to use.

Throughout the preseason he has managed 16 tackles, his most coming against the Tennessee Titans with six total tackles. Against the Titans, Hill played every defensive snap and even handled kick returns. He managed a 53-yard return, he really showed head coach Mike Zimmer that he is capable of doing more than just being a defensive back. Which is why it would be beneficial for the Vikings to hold onto him, whether that be practice squad or special teams.

2. Mike Boone, Running Back, Cincinnati

In all honesty, I was on the Roc Thomas hype train after that first preseason game. However, Mike Boone has emerged to potentially take over the third running back spot. Not only has Boone showed what he can do in the run game, but what he can do in the pass game as well.

The undrafted free agent from Cincinnati has rushed for 194 yards and one touchdown off of 49 carries (four yards per carry). His biggest game was against the Jacksonville Jaguars where he ran for 91 yards and a touchdown off of 13 touches.

Throughout the four games, he also caught 10 passes for 88 yards (eight yards per reception). He had two catches against the Titans and managed to rack up 53 receiving yards.

It’s very possible that Mack Brown gets the boot and is replaced by Boone. He would be a nice compliment to have in the passing game and seems to be a true power back. He truly does hit about every check mark a back needs: speed, hands, physicality, agility and vision. It also would be nice to see Roc Thomas get a spot on the practice squad.

3. Brandon Zylstra, Wide Receiver, Concordia (Minn.), Edmonton Eskimos (CFL)

Brandon Zylstra finally got to show what he’s capable of when the Vikings played Tennessee on Thursday. He managed to have a pretty impressive touchdown grab in the fourth quarter.

Not only did he manage to rake in a touchdown, he had four catches for 54 yards (13.5 yards per reception). This was really the first game that Zylstra was able to actually participate in the passing game.

He was plagued with a bad hamstring injury that held him on the sideline while he recovered. It seemed like Minnesota didn’t really want to risk a more severe injury with Zylstra. Since they weren’t really rushing him back to play, then I’m curious to wonder if maybe the front office and coaching staff already had a spot for him, whether that be on the 53-man roster or the practice squad.

Also, what’s interesting is that other wideout Stacy Coley is out with an injury after going down in practice a couple weeks ago. With the severity of his injury unknown, then I wouldn’t count Zylstra out.