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Minnesota Vikings 53-man roster projection

How things could shake out after the preseason slate

NFL: DEC 20 Vikings at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2022 preseason slate is in the books for the Minnesota Vikings, and now we’re approximately 48 hours away from finding out who the purple will have on their 53-man roster to start the regular season. We’re going to have a couple of 53-man roster projections here, and I’m interested to see what differences there are between mine and any other ones we put up here on the site.

So, without any further ado, here’s one man’s 53-man roster projection for the 2022 Minnesota Vikings.

Offense (25)

Quarterbacks (2)

In: Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens

Out: Sean Mannion, Kellen Mond

The Vikings obviously brought Mullens in to be the backup to Cousins, and after three preseason games neither Mannion nor Mond did enough to really show that they should be rostered ahead of someone at another position that might contribute this season. The team might try to get Mond onto the practice squad, but there’s always a chance that another team will see something in him and grab him instead. We’ll see how that goes.

Running Backs (5)

In: Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu, Ty Chandler, C.J. Ham

Out: Bryant Koback

This is probably the deepest position on the Vikings’ roster. Nwangwu and Chandler both looked very impressive this preseason and could play a big role in shaping the future for this team at the position. I know Ham didn’t play this preseason but I don’t think anyone believes his roster spot is actually in trouble or anything.

Wide Receivers (5)

In: Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, K.J. Osborn, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Jalen Nailor

Out: Trishton Jackson, Dan Chisena, Myron Mitchell, Bisi Johnson (likely to IR)

I would have had Bisi Johnson making the roster before his unfortunate injury last night. If the Vikings do keep six wide receivers, I think that Jackson is the next guy that will make it, but I’ve got a different position taking up a bit of the slack here instead.

Tight Ends (4)

In: Irv Smith Jr., Johnny Mundt, Ben Ellefson, Zach Davidson

Out: Nick Muse

Keeping four tight ends on this offense might seem a little unusual, but I think Davidson might have played himself into a spot with his performance last night after an ugly game against the Niners. Of course, if the Vikings make a few waiver claims at other spots after the 53 is set, Davidson could also be the first man out. For now, however, he stays.

Offensive Line (9)

In: Christian Darrisaw, Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, Ed Ingram, Brian O’Neill, Austin Schlottman, Blake Brandel, Jesse Davis, Oli Udoh

Out: Chris Reed, Vederian Lowe, Kyle Hinton, Wyatt Davis, Timon Parris, Josh Sokol

Reed is probably going to be a bit of a surprise to folks, but I just didn’t see it with him this preseason. There’s a chance that I’m wrong on him, though. Schlottman appears to be the primary backup to Bradbury and Udoh can serve as a backup at pretty much any spot on the line except center. Brandel looks like he’s the third tackle at this point.

Defense (25)

Defensive Line (6)

In: Harrison Phillips, Dalvin Tomlinson, Armon Watts, Esezi Otomewo, Jonathan Bullard, T.Y. McGill

Out: James Lynch, T.J. Smith, Jaylen Twyman

I really, really wanted Twyman to make this roster, but after a couple of years out of football because of COVID and last year’s shooting perhaps the practice squad is a better opportunity at this point. McGill was great in the first two preseason games and played himself into a spot. Otomewo over Lynch was a difficult call and another one I might be wrong about.

Outside Linebackers (5)

In: Danielle Hunter, Za’Darius Smith, D.J. Wonnum, Patrick Jones II, Luiji Vilain

Out: Janarius Robinson, Zach McCloud

I almost kept four OLBs instead of five, but given the injury concerns that Hunter and Smith both carry at this point the team should probably keep five. Vilain, in my opinion, did more to solidify a spot than Robinson or McCloud did, so he gets the shot to stick here.

Inside Linebackers (4)

In: Eric Kendricks, Jordan Hicks, Brian Asamoah, Blake Lynch

Out: Troy Dye, Chazz Surratt, William Kwenkeu

Dye is another one that might surprise some folks, but he just looked out of place a lot during the preseason and generally didn’t perform well. I can’t justify keeping him over Lynch at this point. Surratt is a disappointment, too. . .only one of the four third-round picks the Vikings had in 2021 makes this team in my projection. That’s not a great ratio.

Cornerback (6)

In: Patrick Peterson, Cameron Dantzler, Andrew Booth Jr., Chandon Sullivan, Akayleb Evans, Kris Boyd

Out: Tye Smith, Nate Hairston, Parry Nickerson

Boyd’s work on special teams gets him the #6 spot here, and the five guys in front of him have all been pretty solid. Hopefully Booth will be fully recovered from his injury before the opener. . .everything seems to be trending in that direction.

Safety (4)

In: Harrison Smith, Camryn Bynum, Lewis Cine, Josh Metellus

Out: Mike Brown, Myles Dorn

You could probably make a pretty solid case for Dorn over Metellus, particularly in light of the performance Dorn had last night in Denver. But, again, special teams matters and Metellus is one of the Vikings’ core special teamers, so he gets the last nod at safety.

Special Teams (3)


In: Greg Joseph


In: Ryan Wright

Long Snapper

In: Andrew DePaola

Well, that was easy, at least. Kevin O’Connell hasn’t officially declared that Wright has won the punting job, even after the release of Jordan Berry, but he had a heck of a performance in the final preseason game and I’m guessing that’s going to be enough to get him the job as things stand right now.

Practice Squad Projection

  • QB Kellen Mond
  • RB Bryant Koback
  • WR Trishton Jackson
  • TE Nick Muse
  • OT Vederian Lowe
  • G Wyatt Davis
  • DT Jaylen Twyman
  • OLB Zach McCloud
  • LB Chazz Surratt
  • CB Parry Nickerson
  • S Myles Dorn
  • CB Nate Hairston
  • LB Troy Dye
  • DT James Lynch
  • OLB Janarius Robinson
  • OL Kyle Hinton

The practice squad projection is just based on guys that have been in camp with the Vikings this summer. They could obviously look outside of the current roster for practice squad guys as well, but the majority of guys on the practice squad will be familiar to the coaching staff.

That’s my 53-man roster projection for the Minnesota Vikings as we await cutdown day on Tuesday at 3:00 PM. What do you think, folks?