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An Early Vikings 53-Man Roster Projection

Not many surprises likely this year

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings

Now that the NFL Draft is over, and the Vikings roster is up to 90 players, it’s time to take a first crack at projecting the Vikings’ 53-man roster once the final cut has been made at the end of August.

I’d say every spot is up for grabs, but the reality is that less than a dozen or so roster spots are really on the bubble- the rest are basically locked-in based on contract, draft status, and/or performance. There are transactions that may well take place between now and the end of August that could impact the final 53, some of which are anticipated here, but there may be others that are not.

So with that introduction, let’s get to the projections.


While there will be some significant changes at a couple key positions on offense for the Vikings this year, which should be upgrades, I expect a great deal of continuity overall. That roster continuity, along with coaching continuity, may also prove to be a good thing. The Vikings’ draft picks on offense appear to be very targeted to meet specific needs.

Quarterback (2)

I don’t expect the addition of fifth-round draft pick Jaren Hall to have much of an immediate impact on the quarterback room. The Vikings have kept only two quarterbacks on the roster in six of the last seven years, and the last four years running.

Kirk Cousins

Cousins will start at quarterback for his sixth season with the Vikings. My guess is that his contract will be extended before the season begins. The Vikings took a wait-and-see approach to contract negotiations with Cousins prior to the draft, not wanting more than a one-year additional commitment in guaranteed money in the event they were able to draft a clear successor to Cousins. Jaren Hall isn’t that at this point, although who knows how far he can ascend. The Vikings may now return to contract negotiations with Cousins that result in an extension.

Nick Mullens

I’m guessing that Mullens will keep his backup job for now, and that Jaren Hall will make it to the Vikings’ practice squad.

At the end of the day, the Vikings will go with Mullens’ experience and familiarity with the offense over Hall’s potential and risk getting Hall to the practice squad. One less pre-season game gives Hall that much less opportunity to show he can outplay Mullens.

Most teams only keep two quarterbacks on the roster and want a backup that can run the offense, so the likelihood of another team poaching Hall as their primary backup just prior to the start of the season won’t be that great.

If at some point the Vikings feel Hall can be at least as good as Mullens in spot duty they could look to trade Mullens, but I suspect that won’t be before the season begins.

Running Back/Fullback (5)

I’m anticipating that Dalvin Cook is either traded or released this off-season, a salary-cap casualty, after the Vikings extended Alexander Mattison and drafted DeWayne McBride. The Vikings have kept either four or five backs (three or four RBs plus one FB) for the last seven years.

Alexander Mattison

Mattison enters the off-season as the lead back, fresh off a contract extension. It remains to be seen what his workload will be, but I expect a more running-back-by-committee approach this season rather than Mattison taking Dalvin Cook’s bell cow role last season.

Ty Chandler

Kevin O’Connell has mentioned Chandler a couple times this off-season with the implication that Chandler could earn more reps this season as a smaller, faster receiving threat to complement Mattison as more of a power back. And that’s what I expect.

DeWayne McBride

The addition of McBride looks like a backup to Mattison as a power back. I expect his receiving and blocking ability to be developed, along with his ball security, while he’s a backup.

Kene Nwangwu

Nwangwu, in addition to being the primary kick returner, looks to be a backup to Chandler as a smaller, faster back that could also be a receiving threat. Nwangwu doesn’t have that much experience as a running back, however, and so his roster status is a bit more tenuous. He contributes mostly as a kick returner, and not much on other special teams or on offense. It will be interesting to see if he can develop more as a running back this year.

CJ Ham

The Vikings chose to extend CJ Ham this off-season, despite not having a lot of snaps last season at fullback. They wouldn’t have done that if they didn’t see him making the roster. It’s clear they like Ham as a leader, positive locker room presence, and captain of special teams, in addition to his role at fullback.

Wide Receiver (5)

Should be an interesting competition in the wide receiver group this off-season and training camp behind Justin Jefferson. The Vikings have kept between four and seven wide receivers at their final cut-down over the past seven years, with six being the most frequent and five last year.

Justin Jefferson

Clear WR1. Jefferson will be extended at some point and remain WR1 for the rest of the decade in all likelihood.

Jordan Addison

Addison will have to beat out KJ Osborn for the WR2 spot, but I think he will. Addison is simply a better route runner with a better ability to separate than Osborn. The main thing for Addison will be to learn the offense and show he can be assignment sound.

KJ Osborn

Osborn has been fine as a WR3, and the Vikings value his contributions. But he may begin to be overshadowed on the field by others in the wide receiver group. Osborn is in the last year of his rookie contract, and it’s unclear whether he’ll be extended. He’s done reasonably well as a fifth-round draft pick, but his skillset is replaceable.

Jalen Nailor

I have Nailor as WR4 here, but I wouldn’t rule out WR3 either. Or WR5. I expect he’ll compete well this summer to move up the depth chart and earn more reps during the season. I think he’ll succeed and give Osborn all the competition he wants. Nailor looks to have more upside than Osborn at this point and I wouldn’t be surprised if he earned a bigger role this season.

Jalen Reagor

Reagor enters the off-season with a lot to prove. Last season was a disappointment on many fronts. He was slow to learn the offense, which limited his reps. He didn’t finish his route on one occasion, leading to an interception and drawing the ire of Kevin O’Connell. And he had a few muffed punts (although none of them lost) which called into question his job as punt returner. The Vikings brought in Brandon Powell as competition at punt returner. I’m not sure Reagor will be able to gain the trust of the coaching staff and Cousins to maintain a roster spot. If he doesn’t appear make the roster, most likely in favor of Powell, the Vikings will want to trade him for anything they can get to avoid a $2.4MM deadcap hit.


Brandon Powell

Powell was signed with just $275K guaranteed as punt and kick returner, who also has some knowledge of the offense having been with the Rams the last two seasons. He’s a small (5’8” 181 lbs.) slot-type receiver that was of limited value as a receiver for the Rams the past two seasons. I’m not sure Powell is clearly better as kick or punt returner than Nwangwu and Reagor (his stats don’t suggest so) particularly if Reagor can clean up his muffs.

Trishton Jackson, Blake Proehl, Cephus Johnson, Malik Knowles, Thayer Thomas

Jackson and Proehl were with the Vikings last season and failed to earn a roster spot and I don’t see that changing. The remaining three are UDFAs of perhaps some interest but not enough to make the roster.

Tight End (4)

There should be some good competition for the last two roster spots here, and I’m predicting the Vikings will keep four tight ends on the roster this year, rather than three in previous years, because of an anticipated greater use of two tight-end sets.

TJ Hockenson

The Vikings picked up a premier receiving tight end for their 2023 second-round pick last season and will likely extend his contract at some point this summer.

Josh Oliver

The Vikings also picked up a premier run-blocking tight end this off-season in Oliver, demonstrating the importance they place on the position going forward. The Vikings are expected to run more two tight-end sets this year, and they need a credible blocking TE to get the defensive looks they want when running this formation. Oliver is credible.

Ben Ellefson

I’m projecting Ellefson to overtake his competition and land the TE3 spot this year. He missed most of last season due to injury but has been trending in the right direction while Johnny Mundt had the worst season of his career last year.

Nick Muse

Muse may be a bit of a surprise to make the roster, but he’s a bigger, more all-purpose tight-end than the undersized Johnny Mundt, and can also be a solid contributor on special teams.


Johnny Mundt

Mundt is a carryover from the Rams with Kevin O’Connell, but he played well enough for the Vikings to acquire Josh Oliver in free agency to replace him as TE2. Mundt is listed at 6’4” 233 lbs., which is undersized for a tight-end and it shows in his blocking. He’s also nothing special as a receiving tight-end so I’m projecting the Vikings decide to move on and replace him with bigger tight-ends with more upside.

Offensive Line (9)

I expect continuity in the offensive line room this season. The fact that the Vikings did not draft any offensive linemen this year could be seen as an indication they’d rather work on developing their current roster than bringing in new bodies. The Vikings have kept nine offensive linemen after the final cut in five of the last seven years, although they kept ten last year. With less competition this year, I expect a return to keeping only nine. At least one of the UDFAs could challenge for the last spot on the roster, but if they don’t make it could be favorites to join the practice squad.

Christian Darrisaw

Darrisaw is proving to be a younger Trent Williams with All-Pro potential. He’ll undoubtedly be extended when the time comes and could anchor the offensive line at left tackle for at least the rest of the decade.

Ezra Cleveland

I expect the Vikings to give Cleveland the opportunity to earn a modest extension in the last year of his rookie contract, as they did with Garrett Bradbury. There have been no extension talks at this point for Cleveland, who has yet to improve as a pass protector since being drafted. The same was true for Bradbury last year as well, but he managed to show enough improvement to earn a modest extension. Perhaps Cleveland can do the same.

Garrett Bradbury

Bradbury is a contractual lock to make the roster after signing his extension this off-season. Although it was a three-year extension, it’s effectively two-year deal as the Vikings could exit it after 2024 with $1.2MM in deadcap.

Ed Ingram

Last year’s second-round pick had a rough start (as most rookie linemen do) but showed gradual improvement over the course of his rookie year. Brian O’Neill said he’s looking for Ingram to take a leap from rookie year to second-year performance like he and Christian Darrisaw did. His improvement as the season went on last year is encouraging in that regard.

Brian O’Neill

O’Neill is recovering from the injury he suffered in the Packers game week 17 last year and is expected to start the season. He’s a contractual and performance lock to make the roster.

Oli Udoh

Udoh played remarkably well in relief of Brian O’Neill last year, allowing just three quarterback hurries in three games at right tackle while also earning solid grades in run blocking as well. He was extended this off-season on a one-year deal and I expect he’ll be the primary backup at both tackle spots- the swing tackle.

Chris Reed

Reed accepted a pay-cut on the last year of the contract he signed last year with the Vikings and is likely to be the primary interior line backup this season. He had a rough start when thrust into action at center against the Packers last year, but once he got better acclimated, he did an adequate job. His ability to play both guard and center is a plus.

Blake Brandel

Brandel has played both tackle and guard, and that’s a plus for him as a third-string lineman. He’ll have some competition from UDFAs for one of the two last spots on the offensive line depth chart, but barring a surprise I expect him to keep a roster spot.

Austin Schlottmann

Schlottmann leaves a lot to be desired, but he can play center or guard, so again that position flexibility helps him to maintain a roster spot.


Vederian Lowe

Lowe proved to be pretty raw last year, as his scouting report suggested, and I doubt he’s made enough progress at this point to beat out Brandel, although he probably has better traits. After another year on the practice squad, Lowe might be able to contend for a roster spot.

Josh Sokol

Sokol was on the practice squad last year at center, and perhaps could be developed into a backup interior lineman capable of playing both guard or center. Not out of the question that he doesn’t beat Schlottmann out for the last roster spot, but I wouldn’t bet on it either.

Alan Ali

Ali has started at all three interior line positions at SMU and played center last year at TCU, with some saying he helped solidify their offensive line for their run to the championship game. He has sixty games of college experience and is described as solid if wanting in some physical traits. He’s got a shot at beating out fellow TCU alum Austin Schlottmann for the last roster spot with his versatility if he can hold up better than Schlottmann through training camp. Probably not a favorite to do so, but I wouldn’t write him off either.

Jacky Chen

Chen is a guard who played at Pace University but doesn’t have any real scouting reports. He has adequate size and great length for the position, but something of a wild card. Probably more of a candidate for the practice squad at this stage than a roster spot.


There may be some turnover at the bottom of the depth chart in the front seven groups, as the Vikings prioritize good scheme fits for Brian Flores’ scheme, but for defensive backs the movement will likely be up, not off, the roster.

Edge Rusher (6)

While the status of Za’Darius Smith is in doubt, it’s not clear at this point how motivated the Vikings are to trade Smith, who started the doubt by surprisingly announcing his goodbye to Minnesota a few months ago and wanting out of his contract, which the Vikings have no intention of doing. What’s also in doubt is how much interest Za’Darius is drawing from other teams. But with his production, I doubt the Vikings will simply release him. And so for now I have him keeping his roster spot.

I have the Vikings keeping six edge rushers this year rather than the five they kept last year, as Smith is used extensively as an interior rusher on passing downs, and Davenport could be too, and there is more upside on the bottom of the edge rusher group than the interior defender group.

Danielle Hunter

Hunter will need to have a new contract before he begins to practice with the Vikings, given he’s playing for well under his market value as it stands currently. But negotiations aren’t likely to be simple, given his injury history and age, but also his production. Hopefully a deal can be agreed sooner rather than later, so Hunter can return to practice.

Marcus Davenport

Davenport was signed to a one-year, $13 million prove-it deal and is a contractual lock to make the roster. The hope is that he makes the most of the opportunity, stays healthy, and is extended after the season.

Za’Darius Smith

While there are some issues, Smith remains under contract with the Vikings. I’m not entirely sure if the Vikings want to trade Smith, or if they’re potentially shopping him given Smith’s actions- saying goodbye to Minnesota and wanting out of his contract. Smith could be a good fit in Brian Flores’ defense, and perhaps a rapprochement between team and player could take place to bring Smith back into the fold- although its unclear there ever was a problem other than Smith simply wanting out of his contract for reasons unknown.

Patrick Jones II

Jones showed some improvement last year and is looking to be at least a serviceable edge rusher, with flashes of more than that. Continuing on his present trajectory should be enough for him to earn a roster spot.

Andre Carter II

The Vikings financial commitment to Carter, while not at all prohibitive in releasing him, is also a strong measure of interest. The Vikings know Carter needs to add weight and would seem to be willing to keep him on the roster while he bulks up and develops, given his potential upside.

Luigi Vilain

Vilain making the roster is something of an upset pick here, over the more established DJ Wonnum. Vilain showed some improvement from early to late last season in limited reps and has more upside at this point than Wonnum. Vilain will need to prove that in practice and in pre-season games, but I expect him to get the opportunity to earn a roster spot this off-season and ultimately do so.


DJ Wonnum

Wonnum’s chief asset is his experience relative to his competition, but he’s also plateaued at a replacement level of performance and I suspect the Vikings are looking for edge rushers with more upside. Wonnum is also a nearly $3MM salary cap hit this year- 3x more than his competition- which is also a factor. The Vikings can move on from him for less than $200K in deadcap, and I think they will. Or trade him if possible.

Kenny Willekes

Willekes missed all of last season due to injury, along with his entire rookie year in 2020, and had previously been a practice squad guy. Difficult to see him upstaging his competition to earn a roster spot at this point, but not impossible. I’m not betting on him making the roster, however.

Benton Whitley

Whitley was recently added this off-season but would be a long shot at best to make the roster.

Curtis Weaver

Weaver, a 5th round pick in 2020 by Miami, has spent the past couple seasons on the Browns practice squad after getting cut by the Dolphins. He opted for a futures contract with the Vikings this year, but difficult to see him making the final cut.

Junior Aho

The Vikings recently signed Aho, who doesn’t count against the roster limit or the practice squad limit after the final cutdown, as part of the International Pathway Program. Making the practice squad would be a good result for Aho.

Interior Defensive Line (5)

I could see the Vikings moving on from some veterans on the roster last season as they look to upgrade the depth in the position group. I have the Vikings keeping only five interior defensive linemen in part because a couple edge rushers- Smith and Davenport- could end up taking interior line reps on passing downs.

Harrison Phillips

Phillips is now the dean and captain of the interior line group with the position versatility to play anywhere from 0 to 4i technique.

Dean Lowry

Lowry is a recent free-agent acquisition the Vikings picked up to play a defensive end spot in their 3-4 scheme. Lowry is athletic enough to run the stunts and twists common in the Flores scheme and has some ability as a pass rusher. His run defense is suspect, but he’ll likely be used more on passing downs.

Khyiris Tonga

The emergence of Tonga last season for the Vikings was a pleasant surprise. He didn’t play until week 8 last year but proved to be the solid true nose tackle 3-4 defenses need in the middle. He was the 14th ranked interior defender by PFF last season. His emergence also lessens the need for other veterans in this group last season.

Esezi Otemewo

Otemewo was a somewhat raw prospect when he was drafted in the fifith-round last year, but he did okay in limited reps during the season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see improvement from him this off-season and in training camp. Otemewo has an elite athletic profile and length for the defensive tackle position, although he could add ten pounds and improve his strength. He has some versatility to play edge rusher, given his length and athleticism, although I don’t see the Vikings using him that way.

Jaquelin Roy

Roy was a fourth-round pick for the Vikings and while he needs to develop in a few areas, he’ll likely earn some reps in rotation along the interior line. Roy can also play anywhere from the 0 to 4i technique and that versatility will be valued.


Jonathan Bullard, James Lynch

Both Lynch and Bullard have been decent run defenders but didn’t add much as pass rushers and may not be as good scheme fits with Flores’ scheme. Both are more limited in position versatility as well.

Ross Blacklock

Blacklock took a pay-cut to remain on the roster this off-season after a mediocre-at-best performance last year- his third in a row since being drafted. He is unlikely to make the final cut.

Sheldon Day

Day was a practice squad guy last year after seven seasons in the NFL with four different teams before joining the Vikings. Another long-shot at best to make the roster.

TJ Smith

Smith saw the field a bit during the away game against the Packers in mop-up duty, but like Bullard and Lynch, is a decent run defender that offers little as a pass rusher. He faces significant hurdles to make the roster.

Calvin Avery

Avery is a 6’1”, 345 pound true nose tackle out of Illinois that the Vikings signed as a UDFA. He’s a run-stuffing, double-team eating early down nose-tackle. He’s a likely candidate for the practice squad that could be called up to replace Tonga if he went down.

Inside Linebacker (4)

One of the more competitive groups this off-season may well be the back end of the inside linebacker group.

Brian Asamoah

Asamoah is poised to take Eric Kendricks’ place as the three-down linebacker. He flashed some good reps last season, and he’ll likely build upon that this season as a full-time starter.

Jordan Hicks

Hicks is the veteran presence in the inside linebacker group and still a good run defender, tackler, and blitzer. He’s a liability in coverage however but hopefully will end up with fewer coverage snaps this season.

William Kwenkeu

Kwenkeu is an under-the-radar guy. He’s a bit undersized for a linebacker but has elite speed and acceleration for the position and could serve as a backup to Asamoah as a more able coverage linebacker. He’s gotten a positive mention or two from the coaching staff and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him gain a roster spot as Asamoah’s backup and core special teamer.

Ivan Pace Jr.

Pace was one of the notable UDFAs the Vikings signed and an excellent fit for Flores’ scheme as an effective blitzer. He had a 4th round grade from Dane Brugler as one of the highest graded linebackers in college football last season according to PFF. If Kwenkeu is more a backup to Asamoah, Pace is a backup to Hicks who could take over as starter in time. Pace is short for a linebacker at 5’10”, but at 230-235 he’s not that undersized by weight anymore. Kendricks was 235 pounds. Pace is unproven in coverage, but an excellent run defender and blitzer who is likely to be a good scheme fit for the Vikings.


Troy Dye

Dye has made the roster for the last couple years on the strength of his special teams ability, rather than that at linebacker. He’s been one of the best core special teamers for the Vikings the last couple seasons but has never distinguished himself at linebacker. His ability as a special teamer is replaceable, and with a player more likely to contribute at linebacker as well.

Troy Reeder

Reeder was a recent stop-gap addition to the roster at linebacker. He spent three seasons with the Rams and was a generally poor performer there before being picked up by the Chargers last season and had only 63 snaps. He was a veteran stop-gap pickup before the draft in the event the position wasn’t addressed. But the Vikings did address the position with a top UDFA that likely will eclipse Reeder’s value to the defense.

Abraham Beauplan

Beauplan is another UDFA signing but one I don’t see eclipsing Pace Jr. to gain a roster spot. He played his college football at Marshall.

Wilson Huber

Huber is another UDFA signing and was Pace Jr.’s teammate at Cincinnati. Huber is less distinguished, however, and unlikely to jump his Bearcat alum for a roster spot.

Cornerback (6)

This may be the most competitive group in training camp if the coaching staff is truly undecided regarding the depth chart. They may not be.

Byron Murphy Jr.

Murphy was one of the more significant free-agent signings for the Vikings this off-season, and likely to play all or mostly as the slot cornerback for the Vikings this season. Murphy should be a clear upgrade from Chandon Sullivan, and MacKensie Alexander before him, both being the last ranked cornerbacks in the league in their recent season with the Vikings, but he’s not a shut-down corner by any means. His career passer rating when targeted is 103. But he can play good run defense, which is important for the slot corner position in Flores’ scheme.

Andrew Booth Jr.

Booth is a first-round talent the Vikings got in the second-round last year due to his injury history, which came up again last season. Booth was also misused as a soft zone corner in Ed Donatell’s scheme last season. But when healthy, Booth is a good press-man corner with shut-down potential. He’s also a good run defender but needs to be more disciplined in his tackling to be both more effective and less injury prone. I expect him to be a starter outside as long as he’s healthy.

Mekhi Blackmon

Blackmon was a largely overlooked cornerback in college as he wasn’t recruited out of high school and didn’t get much attention while at Colorado before having a great season at USC. Normally top round draft picks are heavily recruited out of high school to get on scouts' radar, but Blackmon fell through the cracks and down the rankings as a result. Still, he displayed starting-level ability at the next level while at USC, particularly as a press-man corner, and while I expect Akayleb Evans to give him a run for his money, I see Blackmon as the starter outside opposite Booth.

Akayleb Evans

Evans will likely see rotational snaps at outside corner in relief of Booth and Blackmon and is likely to be the primary backup at outside corner. Could be a dime defender too.

Jay Ward

Ward is the likely backup at slot corner behind Byron Murphy Jr.. Ward can also play safety and is familiar with most of the concepts Brian Flores uses, having been a leader on the defense at LSU that used many of the same. Ward could also be used as a dime defender.

Kalon Barnes

Barnes was a cornerback the Vikings met with prior to last year’s draft and later poached from Miami’s practice squad after he was cut by Carolina, who had drafted him in the 7th round. He’s the fastest man on the Vikings roster with 4.23” speed and has the makeup speed where he’s not likely to be out of phase on deep routes. That speed is also an asset as a blitzer. And he graded well as a run defender at Baylor. He has some technique issues to clean up but looks like the best of the rest in this group and can also be a gunner/vise on special teams.


JoeJuan Williams

Williams was another of the pre-draft stop-gap additions in the event the Vikings were not able to address the cornerback position effectively, which they did. Williams was a second-round bust for the Patriots and didn’t play last season due to injury. He has some familiarity with Flores’ scheme, and has been a good tackler, but ran a 4.64” 40 coming out and has never been good in coverage.

John Reid

Reid was just acquired and has bounced around three teams in three years since being drafted in the fourth-round in 2020. The Vikings will be his fourth team. He’s proven to be a replacement-level cornerback more distinguished as a run defender than as a cover corner. Run defense is important for corners in Flores’ scheme, so my guess is that both Williams and Reid are there for now as options if that skillset proves lacking in other corners.

Tay Gowen, Theo Jackson, CJ Colden, Najee Thompson, Jaylin Williams

Gowen and Jackson were on the practice squad last year for the Vikings, but when they needed another cornerback on the active roster, they poached Kalon Barnes rather than elevate either of these two. The rest are wild cards and likely long shots to make the roster.

Safety (4)

Interestingly, no roster-spot competition this off-season for last year’s crew at safety.

Harrison Smith

Smith restructured his contract, taking a pay-cut in the process, to continue his career in Minnesota. He remains the quarterback of the Vikings defense. He’s probably more of an exclusive strong safety now than free safety.

Lewis Cine

Cine has had an incredibly good recovery from his gruesome ankle/foot injury last season and looks to be on track to be full-go for training camp. It does remain to be seen whether Cine will beat-out Cam Bynum for a starting job, and my expectation is that he may not initially, but he’ll continue to get reps and will eventually take over as a starting safety. Cine also has some versatility to play in the slot or even a hybrid linebacker type defender.

Cam Bynum

I expect Bynum to start the season as a starting free safety and then see how it goes from there. Cine could replace him in time, but in any case Bynum has versatility as a safety and converted corner who could play any corner position too if necessary.

Josh Metellus

Metellus has been Harrison Smith’s backup when he wasn’t able to go and did a good job in relief of Smith last season. He also contributes as a core special teamer.

Specialists (3)

Greg Joseph

Joseph made 86.8% of his field goals last season, including 7 of 9 from 50+ yards, which overall is good not great. He was 36 of 40 on extra points- 90% - which is okay, but 37 of 40 would be considered good. Joseph was also the highest PFF graded kicker on kickoffs, with the lowest percentage of returned kicks in the league last year. Overall, room for improvement, but not terrible either. Joesph was given a one-year extension on his contract this off-season.

Ryan Wright

Wright had 35 punts inside the 20-yard line last season (tied for 5th most) with only one touchback. You can talk about hangtime and net yards per punt, but a certain amount of that is affected by the situation. But having just under half his punts inside the 20-yard line with only one touchback is impressive and highly effective in giving opponents poor field position. Wright has no competition at this point for his job as punter.

Andrew DePaola

DePaola received his first All-Pro award as long-snapper for the Vikings last season. He was given a 3-year extension on his contract this off-season as well.


Jack Podlesny

Podlesny was the kicker for the Georgia Bulldogs but wasn’t that great on kickoffs and only just above 50% on field goals over 50 yards. He’s a long-shot to make the roster especially with $1.7MM of Joseph’s $2MM salary cap hit set to be deadcap if he’s released.


This seems like one of the easier roster projections I’ve done over the years. Part of the reason is that there aren’t a lot of truly open spots with evenly matched competition. Part of the reason is also that the Vikings front office seems to have been remarkably focused on meeting particular needs in free agency and especially the draft, while leaving other groups with minimal or no competition this off-season.

Going through this exercise made it clear to me just how focused the Vikings front office has been in prioritizing their roster needs and addressing them very precisely - especially with their draft picks and key UDFA signings.

Given all that, it would appear that they’ve already made most of their roster decisions already, with some flexibility in some of the depth charts, and some competition for a handful of roster spots, but I’d be surprised if I was very far off with this projection. Could be wrong of course, but I get the impression that they’ve done their evaluations in some detail and 90% of the roster is already set- barring a surprise they weren’t anticipating from a depth player.


Which player that I have projected not making the roster do you think I’m most likely to be wrong about?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Jaren Hall
    (549 votes)
  • 3%
    Brandon Powell
    (63 votes)
  • 5%
    Johnny Mundt
    (118 votes)
  • 4%
    Vederian Lowe
    (87 votes)
  • 32%
    DJ Wonnum
    (656 votes)
  • 5%
    James Lynch
    (119 votes)
  • 4%
    Troy Dye
    (82 votes)
  • 3%
    JoeJuan Williams
    (71 votes)
  • 1%
    Jack Podlesny
    (22 votes)
  • 12%
    Dalvin Cook
    (260 votes)
2027 votes total Vote Now