Josh Frey’s Final Vikings Roster Prediction

Bryant McKinnie, Luke Braun, and Dustin Baker Chat about 2022 Vikings
Jun 11, 2019; Eagan, MN, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the field at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings played their final preseason matchup on Saturday, finishing their group of exhibition games winless. Now, the final roster cutdown date looms, with the Vikings having to cut their roster down from 80 to 53 by Tuesday afternoon. With that, here is one final Vikings roster prediction ahead of the cutdown date along with the projected starters. Take a look at last week’s as well for a reference to see what has all changed.

NOTE: (*) indicates projected starters

Quarterbacks (2)

Questions Answered: Primetime Mond-Mannion Battle, Ingram with 1s, Conklin Emergence with Jets
Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks Kellen Mond (11), Kirk Cousins (8), and Sean Mannion (14). Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Who’s In: Kirk Cousins*, Nick Mullens

Who’s Out: Sean Mannion, Kellen Mond

In my previous roster projection, I had a hunch that the Vikings had not settled on the QB2 position. That hypothesis was proven correct when Minnesota traded for Nick Mullens. Because of this move, it’s much easier to move on from Mannion, and they should be able to stash Mond on the practice squad after he clears waivers.

Running Backs (4)

Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) hand the ball off to running back Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Who’s In: Dalvin Cook*, Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu

Who’s Out: C.J. Ham, Bryant Koback

The running back room stays the same, but with Chandler’s impressive preseason finale, I moved him up to RB3 ahead of Kene Nwangwu. Nwangwu should continue to be a special teams star, but I am less convinced that he will get more offensive reps than Chandler.

Wide Receivers (6)

Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) flexes to the crowd after hanging on to a complete pass for a first down in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s In: Justin Jefferson*, Adam Thielen*, KJ Osborn*, Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Jalen Nailor, Dan Chisena

Who’s Out: Trishton Jackson, Bisi Johnson (injured), Myron Mitchell

Bisi Johnson looked like he was in line for the WR5 job heading into the final preseason game, but he is now out for the year with another ACL tear. This opened up a roster spot, and after Trishton Jackson and Myron Mitchell failed to impress, the spot will once again go to special teams guru Dan Chisena.

Tight Ends (3)

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Irv Smith (84) before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s In: Irv Smith*, Johnny Mundt, Ben Ellefson

Who’s Out: Zach Davidson, Nick Muse

This room remains unchanged after the preseason finale. Nick Muse could have potentially claimed a roster spot if he had a very impressive final preseason game, but it did not go that way for the rookie. Both he and Zach Davidson remain on the outside looking in.

Offensive Linemen (10)

Jan 2, 2022; Green Bay, WI, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) advances a deflected pass during the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -USA TODAY NETWORK

Who’s In: Christian Darrisaw (LT)*, Ezra Cleveland (LG)*, Garrett Bradbury (C)*, Ed Ingram (RG)*, Brian O’Neill (RT)*, Oli Udoh (T), Blake Brandel (T), Jesse Davis (G/T), Chris Reed (C/G), Austin Schlottmann (C/G)

Who’s Out: Wyatt Davis, Kyle Hinton, Vederian Lowe, Timon Parris, Josh Sokol

There were only nine players on the offensive line last time around, but I think Chris Reed suddenly coming back from injury and performing well at both guard and center saved him. That means an extra spot elsewhere on the roster must be trimmed down.

Interior Defensive Linemen (6)

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Armon Watts (96) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s In: Harrison Phillips*, Dalvin Tomlinson*, Armon Watts*, T.Y. McGill, Jonathan Bullard, Jaylen Twyman

Who’s Out: James Lynch, Esezi Otomewo, T.J. Smith, Jullian Taylor

After being the area with the most change on last week’s roster prediction, the defensive line stays the same this time around. T.Y. McGill went down early in Saturday’s game with an injury, but it seems minor enough that he should be safe. Unfortunately, the player I’m most concerned about going into Tuesday’s cutdown from this group is Jaylen Twyman.

EDGE Rushers (4)

Jul 29, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings outside linebackers Danielle Hunter (99) and Za’Darius Smith (55) warm up during training camp at US Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s In: Danielle Hunter*, Za’Darius Smith*, Patrick Jones II, DJ Wonnum

Who’s Out: Zach McCloud, Janarius Robinson, Luiji Vilain

Here’s where the roster gets trimmed to add the extra o-lineman. The quartet of Hunter, Smith, Jones, and Wonnum are certainly safe from Tuesday chopping block, but Janarius Robinson is off the final Vikings roster. All three of McCloud, Robinson, and Vilain should end up on the practice squad.

Off-Ball Linebackers (5)

Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks (54) makes a catch during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s In: Jordan Hicks*, Eric Kendricks*, Brian Asamoah, Troy Dye, Blake Lynch

Who’s Out: William Kwenkeu, Chazz Surratt

Blake Lynch did not take any snaps in Saturday’s finale, leading me to believe that he likely has made the final roster. O’Connell also confirmed that Asamoah made the team, so the only question mark in my mind is whether or not Dye has done enough. Given his experience and Kendricks’ injury history, I’m keeping him around.

Cornerbacks (6)

Cameron Dantzler
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler (27) is shown during a timeout during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Who’s In: Cam Dantzler*, Patrick Peterson*, Andrew Booth Jr., Kris Boyd, Akayleb Evans, Chandon Sullivan

Who’s Out: Nate Hairston, Harrison Hand, Parry Nickerson

Kris Boyd was the only real question mark out of the corners that were “in” on my last roster prediction, and his terrific performance in Denver has reassured me that he will be on the team.

Safeties (4)

Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Who’s In: Camryn Bynum*, Harrison Smith*, Lewis Cine, Myles Dorn

Who’s Out: Mike Brown, Josh Metellus

It’s been close between Josh Metellus and Myles Dorn for much of the preseason, but Metellus has had too many poor showings. Meanwhile, Dorn had a terrific close to his preseason, and because of that, I’m flipping the two of them on this final roster predicton.

Special Teams (3)

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings kicker Greg Joseph (1) after the win over the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s In: Andrew DePaola (LS), Greg Joseph (K), Ryan Wright (P)

Who’s Out: N/A

The Vikings made a surprising decision regarding their punter spot when they cut Jordan Berry prior to the final preseason game. That said, Ryan Wright went out and proved them right by having a terrific punting performance as well as holding Greg Joseph’s field goals. Special teams looks like a very strong unit heading into the season.

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