Minnesota Vikings Roster 2013: Latest Cuts, Depth Charts and Analysis

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IAugust 26, 2013

Minnesota Vikings Roster 2013: Latest Cuts, Depth Charts and Analysis

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    With one preseason game remaining, the Minnesota Vikings are deep into the process of trimming their roster from 90 players to the regular-season tally of 53 by this Saturday. 

    The first roster deadline comes Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET, when all 32 NFL teams need to be down to 75 players. By Saturday at 6:00 p.m. ET, the Vikings need to make 22 more cuts to get their total down to 53. 

    Each deadline will ensure a number of important roster decisions are made over the course of this week. 

    In the following slides, we'll keep you up to date with all the latest information regarding cuts and depth charts for the Vikings. 

List of 53-Man Roster Cuts

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    The Vikings have trimmed their roster to 53 players by the NFL's 6 p.m. ET deadline on Saturday. 

    Below is the entire list of cuts made by Minnesota:

    • TE Colin Anderson
    • RB Joe Banyard
    • S Brandan Bishop
    • OL Travis Bond
    • CB Brandon Burton
    • WR Stephen Burton
    • DT Everett Dawkins
    • S Darius Eubanks
    • CB Bobby Felder
    • TE Chase Ford
    • OL Brandon Keith
    • DT Anthony McCloud
    • LB Tyrone McKenzie
    • OL Kevin Murphy
    • DT Spencer Nealy
    • DE D’Aundre Reed
    • WR Rodney Smith
    • WR Adam Thielen
    • DE Collins Ukwu

    Injured Reserve:

    • G Seth Olsen

    Burton and Banyard's names highlight the list.

    Burton, a seventh-round pick in 2011, was fighting to be the team's No. 5 receiver, while Banyard had an impressive preseason. Neither made the team. 

    Cornerback Bobby Felder made a strong run at a roster spot, but the Vikings instead went with Marcus Sherels. Also, receiver Joe Webb stuck after making the transition from quarterback. 

    Zach Line, who burst onto the scene as a receiving and blocking fullback, made the team, but it's unknown if his stay on the 53-man roster will extend past three games. Fullback Jerome Felton will return to the roster once his suspension is up. 

    Along with Felton, offensive tackle DeMarcus Love (suspension) and Christian Ballard (personal reasons) were not included on the initial 53-man roster. 

Final Depth Chart

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    Below is the Vikings' unofficial 53-man roster following final cuts:

    QB: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson

    RB: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Matt Asiata

    FB: Jerome Felton (suspended), Rhett Ellison, Zach Line

    WR: Greg Jennings, Jarius Wright, Joe Webb

    WR: Jerome Simpson, Cordarrelle Patterson

    TE: Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson, Rhett Ellison

    LT: Matt Kalil, DeMarcus Love (suspended), J'Marcus Webb

    LG: Charlie Johnson, Jeff Baca

    C: John Sullivan, Joe Berger

    RG: Brandon Fusco

    RT: Phil Loadholt, J'Marcus Webb

    DE: Brian Robison

    DT: Letroy Guiton, Fred Evans, Chase Baker

    DT: Kevin Williams, Sharrif Floyd

    DE: Jared Allen, Everson Griffen, George Johnson, Collins Ukwu

    OLB: Chad Greenway, Larry Dean

    MLB: Erin Henderson, Audie Cole, Michael Mauti

    OLB: Marvin Mitchell, Desmond Bishop, Gerald Hodges

    CB: Chris Cook, A.J. Jefferson

    FS: Harrison Smith, Robert Blanton

    SS: Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond

    CB: Josh Robinson, Xavier Rhodes

    K: Blair Walsh

    P: Jeff Locke

    LS: Cullen Loeffler

Previewing and Analyzing the Practice Squad

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    The Vikings can sign up to eight players to retain on the practice squad. Below is the announced members of the practice squad, via Minnesota's official website:

    • RB Joe Banyard: A member of the Vikings practice squad to end 2012, Banyard made a legitimate run at a 53-man roster spot this August. He was impressive throughout the preseason, and especially in the finale. He was worth keeping around. (UPDATE: The Vikings waived Banyard and signed running back Bradley Randle to the practice squad Wednesday, per the team's official Twitter account. Randle is a 5'7" back from UNLV who spent most of training camp with the Vikings.)

    • G Travis Bond: He stands 6'7" and weighs 330 pounds, which remains a rare combination even in the oversized NFL. The Vikings now just need to find a way to develop the seventh rounder's skills. He has experience at both guard and tackle.

    • DT Everett Dawkins: The Vikings drafted the former Florida State defensive lineman in the seventh round of April's draft. He couldn't win a roster spot on an otherwise talented defensive line, but a year of work on the practice squad should help his cause. 

    • TE Chase Ford: The Eagles originally signed Ford as an undrafted free agent in 2012. The 6'6" tight end eventually found a home in Minnesota, where he caught five passes for 51 yards this preseason. 

    • WR Rodney Smith: You can't teach 6'5" and 220 pounds at receiver. He also showed some big-play ability in the preseason. With some seasoning on the practice squad, Smith could push for a roster spot down the road.

    • OT Kevin Murhpy: Again, the size here is enviable. Murphy is 6'7" and 305 pounds. He needs plenty of development before he's ready to contribute, but the Vikings have to like his measuables. 
    • WR Adam Thielen: A Minnesota State product, Thielen caught two passes for 27 yards during the preseason. He'll add an extra body to a position that kept five receivers on the active roster.

    • DE Tristan Okpalaugo: The athletic defensive end was a big hit for the Miami Dolphins this preseason. He tallied three sacks and forced fumble over four games. The Dolphins had too much depth at the position to keep him around, but the Vikings can afford to continue his development in Minnesota.

Recently Cut Free Agents Minnesota Vikings Are Rumored to Be Pursuing

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    Following final cuts, we will update this space with newly cut free agents the Vikings are reported to be in the market for. 

Starters and Injury Notes

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    The Minnesota Vikings would likely start the following lineup if Week 1 were today:

    Starters 

    QB: Christian Ponder

    RB: Adrian Peterson

    FB: Jerome Felton (suspended), Rhett Ellison

    WR: Greg Jennings

    WR: Jerome Simpson

    TE: Kyle Rudolph

    LT: Matt Kalil

    LG: Charlie Johnson

    C: John Sullivan

    RG: Brandon Fusco

    RT: Phil Loadholt

    DE: Jared Allen

    DT: Kevin Williams

    DT: Letroy Guion

    DE: Brian Robison

    OLB: Chad Greenway

    MLB: Erin Henderson

    OLB: Marvin Mitchell, Desmond Bishop

    CB: Chris Cook

    FS: Harrison Smith

    SS: Jamarca Sanford

    CB: Josh Robinson

    Injury Notes

    The Vikings suffered two more injuries during their loss to the San Francisco 49ers Sunday night. Veteran defensive tackle Kevin Williams suffered a knee injury that will keep him out week-to-week, and cornerback Chris Cook injured his groin and left the game, per Andrew Krammer of ESPN 1500. Other injuries currently plaguing the Vikings are to first-round pick Sharrif Floyd (knee, hopeful for Week 1) and receiver Jarius Wright (concussion). 

List of 1st Round of Cuts & General Analysis

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    The Minnesota Vikings made 13 cuts Monday, per Pro Football Talk. The following were let go a day before, which put Minnesota at 76 players:

    • Lawrence Jackson, DE (pictured)
    • LaMark Brown, WR
    • Erik Highsmith, WR
    • Tyler Holmes, G
    • Marquis Jackson, DE
    • Stanford Keglar, LB
    • Greg McCoy, DB
    • Bradley Randle, RB
    • Chris Summers, WR
    • James Vandenberg, QB
    • Camden Wentz, C
    • Jerodis Williams, RB
    • Roderick Williams, DB

    Jackson, a former first-round pick who signed with Minnesota this past April, was the only moderate surprise among the 13 cuts. The 27-year-old defensive end tallied 13 sacks in three seasons with the Detroit Lions and was brought to the Vikings to help add another edge pass-rusher. At the very least, Minnesota has allowed Jackson ample time to find a new home before the 2013 season. 

    The rest of the names were fringe roster players, at best.

    On Tuesday, the Vikings announced that receiver Greg Childs (knee) would be placed on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The move brought Minnesota down to the maximum of 75 players.

Depth Chart Post-75-Man Roster Cuts and Previewing 53-Man Roster Cuts

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    With the Vikings now down to 75 players, the team's unofficial depth chart likely looks something like this (via Ourlads.com):

    QB: Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson

    RB: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Joe Banyard

    FB: Jerome Felton, Rhett Ellison, Zach Line, Matt Asiata

    WR: Greg Jennings, Jarius Wright, Joe Webb, Rodney Smith

    WR: Jerome Simpson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Stephen Burton, Adam Thielen

    TE: Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson, Rhett Ellison, Chase Ford, Colin Anderson

    LT: Matt Kalil, Kevin Murphy, DeMarcus Love

    LG: Charlie Johnson, Jeff Baca

    C: John Sullivan, Joe Berger

    RG: Brandon Fusco, Seth Olsen, Travis Bond

    RT: Phil Loadholt, Brandon Keith, Troy Kropog

    DE: Brian Robison, D'Aundre Reed, Spencer Nealy

    DT: Letroy Guiton, Fred Evans, Chase Baker, Anthony McCloud

    DT: Kevin Williams, Sharrif Floyd, Everett Dawkins

    DE: Jared Allen, Everson Griffen, George Johnson, Collins Ukwu

    OLB: Chad Greenway, Larry Dean, Tyrone McKenzie

    MLB: Erin Henderson, Audie Cole, Michael Mauti

    OLB: Marvin Mitchell, Desmond Bishop, Gerald Hodges

    CB: Chris Cook, A.J. Jefferson, Brandon Burton, Bobby Felder

    FS: Harrison Smith, Robert Blanton, Brandon Bishop, Darius Eubanks

    SS: Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond, Andrew Sendejo

    CB: Josh Robinson, Xavier Rhodes

    Possible 53-Man Cuts

    On offense, the Vikings will almost certainly trim at least two receivers (Rodney Smith, Adam Thielen?), a tight end (Colin Anderson), an offensive tackle (Troy Kopong) and guard (Travis Bond).

    On the other side of the ball, expect Minnesota to cut a couple of safeties (the team currently has seven), as many as two defensive ends (Collins Ukwu?), a defensive tackle (Anthony McCloud) and at least one linebacker.

    Accomplishing these cuts wouldn't get the Vikings to the final tally of 53, but it would be a reasonable start before the tough decisions need to be made.