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 /
9 of 10
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) Xavier Rhodes
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) Xavier Rhodes /

Defensive Backs (10)

  • Cornerbacks: Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Mike Hughes, Kris Boyd, Holton Hill*
  • Safeties: Harrison Smith, Anthony Harris, Jayron Kearse, Marcus Epps

* (Hill is suspended for the first four games of the season after violating the league’s PED policy and will not count against the roster until Week 5.)

As we enter Mike Zimmer’s favorite slide, we see more of the usual suspects. The Vikings will hope for a healthier Xavier Rhodes in 2019 while Trae Waynes (to the surprise of some) didn’t get traded. Minnesota will also hope for another step forward from nickel Mackensie Alexander while Mike Hughes comes back from his torn ACL.

The fifth cornerback spot should have been sewn up after Hill came on strong as a UDFA, but will have to serve a four-game suspension to begin the season. That could open the door for fellow Longhorn Kris Boyd, who projects as a prototypical Zimmer cornerback, but could also be moved to safety to play to his strengths that are more suited to a zone scheme.

For now, the safeties will consist of Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris but could also feature Boyd down the road if Jayron Kearse makes the rumored move to linebacker. The Minnesota Vikings could also use sixth-round pick Marcus Epps as a backup and special teamer.