Sunday, September 1, 2013
Revisiting our Vikings roster projection
By Ben Goessling
Now that the Minnesota Vikings have made their final cuts, it's time to compare their actual 53-man roster with the one we projected on Friday evening.
In the end, we did pretty well.
We correctly guessed 50 of the 53 names on the final roster, missing on two offensive line spots and one in the defensive backfield. We had the correct composition of the roster -- three quarterbacks, four running backs, five wide receivers, three tight ends, eight offensive linemen, nine defensive linemen, eight linebackers, 10 defensive backs and three specialists -- but on all of our misses, we gave short shrift to players who were on the Vikings' roster last year.
We left Joe Berger and Troy Kropog -- who were on last year's active and practice squads, respectively -- in favor of free agent pickups Seth Olsen and Brandon Keith. But Olsen, who suffered a concussion on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans, must be in worse medical shape than the Vikings initially thought; the team put him on injured reserve on Saturday. We'll hear more from coach Leslie Frazier on Monday about what happened to Olsen, but given the fact he was taken off the field on a stretcher on Thursday night, it's possible he's dealing with some serious ramifications.
Berger looked like he might be vulnerable in light of how well Jeff Baca had played at center, but the Vikings kept both players, giving themselves a pair of versatile interior linemen. Kropog, who can play guard or tackle, beat out Keith, whom we believed would make the team. Keith apparently did, too -- he responded to the news with a handful of indignant tweets on Saturday.
In the defensive backfield, we expected the Vikings to retain six cornerbacks instead of the five they ultimately kept. Safety Mistral Raymond, who was a starter at the beginning of last year but has struggled with injuries, survived the final cuts; we expected the Vikings to hang onto Bobby Felder instead. But they retained the same five safeties they had last year -- Harrison Smith, Jamarca Sanford, Robert Blanton, Raymond and Andrew Sendejo -- and will have to see if they can get Felder back onto their practice squad for another year.
In the end, though, we'll take 50 out of 53 -- and choosing to quit while we're ahead, we'll abstain from a prediction on the eight-man practice squad the Vikings will announce Sunday.