Vikings 2019: Way too early 53-man roster projection

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Anthony Barr
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Anthony Barr /

Linebackers (7)

  • Starters: Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Ben Gedeon
  • Backups: Cameron Smith, Eric Wilson, Kentrell Brothers, Devantae Downs

Once again, the starters are written in stone here. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks both signed lucrative extensions in the past calendar year. While Barr will reprise his role as one of the pillars of the Vikings defense, Kendricks will have something to prove after a sub-par season in 2018.

The one starting spot that could be up for grabs is that of Ben Gedeon. The Minnesota Vikings play a majority of their snaps in a nickel formation, meaning Barr and Kendricks shoulder most of the load, but Minnesota might also be looking for an upgrade on the good-but-not-great play of Gedeon.

Eric Wilson profiles more as an outside linebacker, but fifth-round pick Cameron Smith is someone who could play any of the three positions, which could give Zimmer another wrinkle to add to his defense. With Kentrell Brothers likely relegated to special teams, there could be a battle for the final spot here as 2018 seventh-rounder Devantae Downs will return from a torn ACL and incumbent Reshard Cliett could also make a push to retain his roster spot.