Predicting the Final Roster

With the preseason over, all that’s left for the team to do before they head off to St Louis for the first game of the regular season is to decide who makes the final cut.  Some guys had some high expectations coming in, but due to lack of productivity, effort, ability to execute the new coaching regime’s scheme, or unfortunate injury circumstances, many players will be looking for a new team tomorrow.  Here’s the guys who I think will be sticking around:

QB
Matt Cassel
Teddy Bridgewater
Christian Ponder

No surprises here, as all three QBs will be staying with the team, at least until Spielman can convince somebody that Ponder is worth more than a foam cheese shaped head ornament.

RB
Adrian Peterson
Matt Asiata
Jerick McKinnon

I like Banyard better than Asiata, and if this were my decision he’s the one I’d keep.  Unfortunately, there are smarter people making the decision, and I believe they’ll be choosing to let Banyard get scooped up by a team in need of his skill.

FB
Jerome Felton
Zach Line

No need for any more than 1 FB in Turner’s scheme, and Jerome is too good to consider anybody else for the job. The coaches must have seen something in camp that we didn’t get to see in the preseason games, because Line didn’t seem like he had a chance to make this team.

WR
Greg Jennings
Cordarrelle Patterson
Jarius Wright
Adam Thielen
Rodney Smith
(Jerome Simpson)

When I learned Simpson had gotten into trouble with the law again, I was ready to cut him loose.  I would have preferred the team drafted a WR this year instead of loading up on DBs with so many of their late round picks.  Now that Simpson’s suspension has been confirmed for 3 games, it leaves a spot open for Smith to fill.  Hopefully the team will be able to sneak Smith onto the practice squad after that, because it looks like he has a good chance of developing into something good in a short time.

TE
Kyle Rudolph
Allen Reisner
Rhett Ellison

With any serious competition being eliminated due to injury, these 3 players emerge with one star recieving TE, one more very reliable receiving TE and the third specializing in creating holes for Adrian.  Big surprise out of the Tight End group, as the star of the preseason was cut loose.  It’s going to be interesting to see how this team survives with only 2 Tight Ends.

OT
Matt Kalil
Phil Loadholt
Tony Richardson
Austin Wentworth

There’s been appearances that Wentworth is the favorite to be the backup tackle on this group, but I just can’t allow myself to think that Richardson is not going to get the job.  He’s an undrafted free agent who was supposed to get selected in the mid rounds of the draft.  It seems like too good of a steal for us to let him get scooped up by another team.
It looks like I should have trusted what I was seeing on the field, because even after his poor performance in replacement duty for Loadhot, Wentworth still made the team ahead my favorite for the spot.

OG
Charlie Johnson
Brandon Fusco
David Yankey
Vlad Ducasse

Yankey should be pushing for Johnson’s job pretty soon, but it seems that the value of continuity along the line is being heralded over the value of skilled players.  Yankey still makes the cut, sending vets like Ducasse and Baca packing.
Another surprise amongst the offensive line, as they bring in a ninth player to help with their depth.

OC
John Sullivan
Joe Berger

Berger is remains the most valuable backup on the line, with his ability to transition to any of the interior positions supported by his years of experience proving he is a quality backup.

DT
Linval Joseph
Shariff Floyd
Fred Evans
Tom Johnson
Shamar Stephen

This group gets heavier than it should be just because there’s too much skill to let any of the three backups chance going to another team.  The team ditches a solid veteran backup in favor of youth and potential.

DE
Brian Robison
Everson Griffen
Corey Wootton
Scott Chrichton

2 solid starters supported by 2 very promising backups should equate to a group of fresh players all throughout the season while rotating in and out in Zimmer’s scheme.

LB
Chad Greenway
Anthony Barr
Jasper Brinkley
Audie Cole
Gerald Hodges
Larry Dean
Michael Mauti
Brandon Watts

My first impression is that if the team decides to keep this group at 6, it could be Mauti that loses the coin flip.  While he has more value as a future prospect, I think the coaches like Dean’s production on special teams too much to keep Mauti around based on what he might add to the team in future seasons.  These seven get the nod for now though, producing some solid depth for the back-end of the front seven of this defense.  Some extra depth along the group of LBs seems like overkill, so I’m expecting that a good handful of these guys will be contributing a lot on special teams.

CB
Captain Munnerlyn
Xavier Rhodes
Josh Robinson
Shaun Prater
Marcus Sherels
Jabari Price

With Cox being a surprising cut in the first round of releases earlier this week, a roster spot is opened up for one of our draft picks, and after showing some flashes during the preseason Price ends up getting the nod.

S
Harrison Smith
Andrew Sandejo
Robert Blanton
Kurt Coleman
Chris Crocker
Antone Exum

This was the hardest group to select.  Of the guys fighting for the second starting gig, nobody stood out in the preseason. Former starter Jamarca Sanford misses the boat after piling up too many injuries to make the new coaching staff comfortable leaving him on board. Meanwhile, the second starter may prove to be the defense’s biggest weakness this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team try to improve on the position early in next year’s draft.  
Proving that this was the toughest group to select, 2 of my picks got cut and a rookie with potential was kept on board in their place.  This group still looks very questionable, and I’d be a lot happier if the team found a reliable veteran who didn’t make the final cut on one of the other teams.

Special Teams
Blair Walsh
Jeff Locke
Cullen Loeffler

No surprises here as the team keeps the group from last year, who spent the entire off-season completely uncontested.

With those 53 (+1), here are the guys I expect to be looking for a new team or profession:
OC Zac Kerin
CB Julian Posey
DE Justin Trattou (After his performance on Thursday, he is one player who I think is able to find a new team)
DT Isame Faciane
OG Vladimir Ducasse (Veteran journeyman should also find a new team)
LB Justin Jackson
LB Mike Zimmer
RB Joe Banyard (Another favorite to be sporting a different jersey next week)
S Jamarca Sanford
OT Mike Remmers
WR Donte Foster

Cuts who the team should try to get on the Practice Squad:
DT Chase Baker 
FB Zach Line 
OG Jeff Baca 
OG Austin Wentworth 
S Antone Exum 
TE Chase Ford
RB Dominique Williams
LB Brandon Watts
CB Kendall James
WR Kain Colter

[The cuts are all due to be made on Saturday, so check back to see how close my predictions were.]

*Actual results have been adjusted for – the players who made the team that I didn’t think would are highlighted in bold green.  My picks who didn’t make the team are crossed out.

102 comments on “Predicting the Final Roster

  1. No I’m not Titus, I wanted to but I’ve been back and forth to MN and I missed the draft and sign up. I’m in just one league this year (down from 3) and I like it! Next year hopefully, got a lot of stuff going on in my non-fantasy life right now.

  2. Cuts to get to 53: DT Fred Evans, RB Joe Banyard, RB Dominique Williams, LB Mike Zimmer, G Jeff Baca, DT Chase Baker, S Kurt Coleman, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, S Chris Crocker, WR Donte Foster, TE Chase Ford, CB Kendall James, LB Justin Jackson, C Zac Kerin, CB Julian Posey, TE Allen Reisner, OL Mike Remmers, DE Justin Trattou

  3. Quarterbacks (3)
    Teddy Bridgewater
    Matt Cassel
    Christian Ponder

    Running Backs (5)
    RB Matt Asiata
    FB Jerome Felton
    FB Zach Line
    RB Jerick McKinnon
    RB Adrian Peterson

    Wide Receivers (5)
    Greg Jennings
    Cordarrelle Patterson
    Rodney Smith
    Adam Thielen
    Jarius Wright

    *Jerome Simpson does not count towards the roster while he serves his three game suspension.

    Tight Ends (2)
    Rhett Ellison
    Kyle Rudolph

    Offensive Linemen (9)
    C Joe Berger
    G Vladimir Ducasse
    G Brandon Fusco
    G Charlie Johnson
    T Matt Kalil
    T Phil Loadholt
    C John Sullivan
    T Austin Wentworth
    G David Yankey

    Defensive Linemen (8)
    DE Scott Crichton
    DT Sharrif Floyd
    DE Everson Griffen
    DT Tom Johnson
    DT Linval Joseph
    DE Brian Robison
    DT Shamar Stephen
    DE Corey Wootton

    Linebackers (8)
    Anthony Barr
    Jasper Brinkley
    Audie Cole
    Larry Dean
    Chad Greenway
    Gerald Hodges
    Michael Mauti
    Brandon Watts

    Cornerbacks (6)
    Captain Munnerlyn
    Shaun Prater
    Jabari Price
    Xavier Rhodes
    Josh Robinson
    Marcus Sherels

    Safeties (4)
    Robert Blanton
    Antone Exum Jr.
    Andrew Sendejo
    Harrison Smith

    Specialists (3)
    P Jeff Locke
    LS Cullen Loeffler
    K Blair Walsh

    • I’m surprised about Gray. After the performance Reisner had in preseason, I fully expected him to make the team. Sure, Gray has familiarity with Norv’s system, but Reisner already showed that he can all the same things that the team is going to ask of Gray, and he can do them well.

      Of course, I’m also perplexed as to why Reisner appears to not be on another team yet. Perhaps he had attitude or work ethic problems off the field?

  4. Banyard appeared to gain more yardage than Asiata, but AP needs bigger/bulkier blockers to clear the way downfield. McKinnon may very well be AP’s heir-apparent.

    Like most of you, I’m very surprised that Reisner didn’t make the 53.

    Watched the last game again and cued in on Ponder. He HAS made improvements in downfield attempts, but nearly ALL of them were to receivers standing still, who waited….and waited…..and waited….for the ball to get to them – luckily most of them had 10 yards of separation. Was disappointed that the last 18 plays (or so) were all predictable handoffs to Williams, who got predictably stuffed more and more often.

Keep it purple...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s