With many talented players stacked up at the tight end spot for the Minnesota Vikings, odds are that someone will be left outside the final 53-man roster.
It wasn’t that long ago when the Minnesota Vikings were struggling to find a talented roster to put on the field each Sunday. With the team making several great moves in free agency and drafting for ability over need, there are now spots on the team that are overflowing with talent.
Among those spots is the tight end position. There are many great players fighting for a few positions, but that should make the individuals contending work even harder to succeed. Interestingly enough, many of the players have different strengths and talents that could make them valuable to the squad.
Here are the players who will be looking to make the Minnesota Vikings 53 man roster for the 2016 NFL season and a little information about their status and ability:
Rudolph signed a massive contract extension that ensured he would be with the team for many more years. However, his production hasn’t quite matched the investment the team has made in him. In the past, solid players have been cut because of contracts that exceeded their contribution, but the former Notre Dame tight end should be safe for at least another season or two.
Tearing his patellar tendon last year, there’s no knowing if Ellison will be ready to go for the 2016 NFL season. When healthy, he is a solid blocking tight end who is a sneaky receiving option out of the backfield. There is a chance that Ellison could open the season on the PUP or IR list, opening up a spot for another player.
Last year’s mid-round draft pick showed to be capable in all facets of the game. As a willing blocker with soft hands, Pruitt should be in the Minnesota Vikings long-term plans at tight end. However, he will continue to battle for playing time with pass-catching Rudolph and blocking Ellison.
The Minnesota Vikings signed the former Raiders, Browns and 49ers tight end this offseason, but may not have a place for him on roster. Although he is a Minnesota native, he’s only played in 16 NFL games accumulating just 7 catches for 39 yards and a touchdown. He’ll need more production this preseason to earn a roster spot.
Morgan could be the ultimate wildcard for the Minnesota Vikings tight end grouping this year. As an excellent blocker, he could take a hybrid fullback/tight end role if Rhett Ellison is unable to start the season that way. If Ellison starts the season on the active rosters and the team attempts to stash Morgan on the practice squad, he will likely be poached by another squad.
While there is always the chance that Carter can be very impressive during the preseason, he may be fighting an uphill battle at tight end. However, in the NFL, it’s great to get some exposure any way you can, and Carter could improve his chances for latching on to the practice squad either with the Vikings or another team this year with solid performances in exhibition play.
Which Minnesota Vikings tight ends do you feel will make the team’s final 53 man roster this year? Will any make the practice squad or start the year on the PUP list? And which players will find themselves cut by the time the regular season starts? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.