Time to update the 53-man roster projection. Some stuff has happened since last week, including injuries and a couple roster moves. First the locks:
Quarterback: Donovan McNabb, Christian Ponder, Joe Webb
Running Back: Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Lorenzo Booker
Tight End: Visanthe Shiancoe, Kyle Rudolph, Jim Kleinsasser
Wide Receiver: Percy Harvin, Michael Jenkins, Bernard Berrian
Tackle: Charlie Johnson, Phil Loadholt, Ryan Cook
Center: John Sullivan, Jon Cooper
Guard: Steve Hutchinson, Anthony Herrera, Chris DeGeare
Defensive End: Jared Allen, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen
Defensive Tackle: Kevin Williams, Remi Ayodele, Letroy Guion, Fred Evans, Christian Ballard
Linebacker: E.J. Henderson, Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Jasper Brinkley
Cornerback: Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Asher Allen, Chris Cook
Safety: Husain Abdullah, Tyrell Johnson, Jamarca Sanford
Kicker: Ryan Longwell
Punter: Chris Kluwe
Long-Snapper: Cullen Loeffler
I have removed three players from the “lock” list. Here they are and here’s why I removed them:
I thought Jaymar was in because of his combined punt return/deep receiver potential but that’s changed. He’s been bumped as the primary punt returner in favor of Marcus Sherels – even though Sherels fumbled one last week – and he is getting nothing going as a receiver. Right now he’s probably the sixth receiver on the depth chart, and the Vikings will only take five.
There’s chatter about Farwell being cut. His salary is a tad high for a back-up linebacker/special teams horse in this brave new world where the kickoff is being eliminated and special teams horses are therefore diminished in value. Also this Larry Dean guy is starting to emerge. If the Vikes decide to dump guys for salary cap reasons, Farwell and Greg Camarillo are probably the most in jeopardy.
Mistral Raymond is threatening to make the team, though his dropped interception last week won’t help him. Frampton can’t be considered a lock under the current conditions.
I added one man to the lock list…
I had Herrera on the bubble last week because of Scott Kooistra, but Kooistra is now on IR after neck surgery. Herrera will play Saturday night vs. Dallas and I expect he will end up winning at least a back-up job at right guard if not the starting job. Ryan Cook is the main threat to his starting position with Kooistra now gone. I have no idea what’s up with Chris DeGeare but I still can’t see them cutting him.
He’s the fourth receiver right now. Of all the guys currently on the roster he probably is the best potential deep threat. Now if the Vikings could only get their offensive line squared away, maybe they’d be able to actually throw a deep pass occasionally.
He’s making it very interesting in that receiver mix. It’s possible both Jaymar Johnson and Greg Camarillo – virtual locks a couple weeks ago – could find themselves on the outside looking in.
His pick-six helped him. His fumbled punt didn’t. The endorsement of his special teams coach, who made him the #1 punt returner for Saturday night, shows the Vikings want very badly to find a spot for this man. I’ve given up the idea that Asher Allen will end up being cut somehow so if Sherels make it, it will be as the fifth cornerback. This could leave Brandon Burton in the cold.
I mentioned Mr. Dean briefly earlier. Tom Pelissero reports that Dean has been getting work with the first unit on special teams which bodes well for Dean and not-so-well for the somewhat overpaid Farwell, who by the way is also injured. Our own Jon Merckle also zeroed in on Dean in a recent post (Merckle doesn’t miss much).
He’s more than just a great name, he’s also a comer at defensive end. Still probably on the outside looking in after the White signing but you never know.
New To The Mix
Stylez G. White
Besides having the coolest name on the team, except for Manny Arceneaux (who is pretty much finished by the way), White is also a potential impact-maker as a third-down rush specialist. He probably won’t take snaps away from Brian Robison but you never know. D’Aundre Reed I think is pretty much on the way to the practice squad.
The thinking was that with Toby Gerhart hurt and the Vikings not wanting to overuse Adrian Peterson they would toss the newly-signed King in there and let him take the pounding. Then a goofy rumor emerged that the Vikes want to convert Gerhart to fullback and make King the #3 running back behind Peterson and Lorenzo Booker. Then it came out that King is overweight and looks terrible in practice. So I guess it’s the practice squad for King if he doesn’t get cut outright. For the record, that converting Gerhart to fullback rumor was just stupid.
Still Hanging On
Reisnermania seems to have died down a tad. He’s probably still in the mix but if I had to bet money I’d put it on Jeff Dugan staying. That doesn’t mean I’m ready to add Dugan to the lock list. I’m also not going to put Ryan D’Imperio on the lock list either.
The picture is supposed to be clearing but instead it is actually getting murkier. We’re five days from first cuts but those first cuts are usually obvious guys so, even after that cut down, things probably won’t be any better. Maybe Saturday night’s game will help. Or maybe it will make things even more confusing.
So as it stands now, these are my guesses at the 11 spots not listed as “locks.”
Fullback: Ryan D’Imperio
Tight End: Jeff Dugan
Wide Receiver: Devin Aromashodu, Greg Camarillo
Tackle: DeMarcus Love, Patrick Brown
Defensive End: Stylez White
Linebacker: Larry Dean, Ross Homan
Cornerback: Marcus Sherels
Safety: Mistral Raymond