vikings

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With major free agent signings in place, let’s have a look at the Minnesota Vikings roster

Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) passes against the Indianapolis Colts in the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings landed two starting tackles, a starting running back and a depth defensive lineman so far in free agency. They’ve also seen one starting corner return and a handful of players find new homes. So where does that leave the Vikings’ roster? What positions need to be addressed still in free agency and the draft? Let’s have a look…

Vikings offense


Quarterback

Sam Bradford

Taylor Heinicke

Teddy Bridgewater

Analysis:

There hasn’t been a single peep from the Vikings or Sam Bradford’s camp about a potential extension, which hints at the Vikings’ starting quarterback heading into 2017 with uncertainty over his future. It’s possible the team wants to wait and see how Teddy Bridgewater’s knee recovers before they sign on for another five years of Bradford. They might also want to know if his stats from last season were fool’s gold. It was, after all, the best season of his career. They may want to find out whether he regresses or grows with an improved offensive line. The franchise tag option will always be there if a deal isn’t worked out.


Running back

Latavius Murray

Jerick McKinnon

Bishop Sankey

Analysis:

After signing Murray to what essentially is a one-year deal, the Vikings likely will be looking to the NFL draft to add one more running back to the mix, especially in a draft that is said to be very deep with RBs. Murray has a favorable skill set for the West Coast offense and a good pass protector and pass catcher. There are enough shortcomings in his game to open the door for he and McKinnon to be 1A and 1B. Over the second half of the season, it seemed the Vikings figured out how to better use McKinnon. In his final six games, the third-year back averaged 4.1 Yards Per Carry and caught 31 passes.


Wide receiver

Stefon Diggs

Adan Thielen

Jarius Wright

Laqon Treadwell

Isaac Fruechte

Moritz Boehringer

Analysis:

The Vikings accomplished one of their biggest offseason goals, which was to sign Thielen to a contract extension. He now has an extremely reasonable contract through 2020. With Diggs and Thielen, the Vikings have one of the better 1-2 combinations in the NFL. While neither will be called the league’s best receiver, both are in the upper echelon of all-around receivers, which gives offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur all sorts of options. Behind Diggs and Thielen, the Vikings aren’t in great shape. It is unclear whether Laquon Treadwell will take a huge step forward or become a bust and Jarius Wright was almost completely cut out of the offense last year. Another receiver in free agency would be a big help.


Tight end

Kyle Rudolph

David Morgan

Kyle Carter

Analysis:

The Vikings lost Rhett Ellison (and his dad) to the New York Giants, leaving them with an open spot. This year’s draft features a group of freak show tight ends who set the record for most sub-4.7 40-yard dashes at the NFL Combine. The Vikings tried to sign former Ram and Packer Jared Cook, but he chose the Oakland Raiders instead. That leaves a pretty light group of free agent tight ends, led by Raider Mychal Rivera, who caught 58 passes for Oakland back in 2014. Minnesota should feel like they are in good shape with Rudolph, who is coming off a career year. But as Bill Belichick has taught us, two receiving-threat tight ends  on the field at the same time makes for a pretty tough matchup.


Tackle

Riley Reiff

Mike Remmers

Rashod Hill

TJ Clemmings

Willie Beavers

Austin Shepherd

Analysis:

There isn’t a team in the league that improved at one position in free agency more than the Vikings improved at tackle. Of the available options, Reiff was arguably the second best behind Andrew Whitworth, who signed with the Rams. If he plays like he did in 2015, the last time he was at left tackle, the Vikings will be in decent shape both protecting the passer and in the run game. Remmers is a little more questionable, but he was an average right tackle on the 2015 Panthers, who went to the Super Bowl. Also, it’s worth pointing out that Hill is intriguing. He played well in his first game and might be a player the Vikings can develop. As for Clemmings and Beavers, well, the Vikings should probably draft another tackle or two.


Guard

Alex Boone

Jeremiah Sirles

Analysis:

The Vikings need more guards. Boone played fairly well in his first year as a Viking, particularly in pass protection. Sirles struggled with edge rushers when starting at right tackle, but is a powerful run blocker, which makes him an attractive candidate to start at guard. However, the Vikings should be looking hard at the guard position in the second round to compete for a starting job.


Center

Joe Berger

Nick Easton

Analysis:

In a rough year for the offensive line, Berger’s excellent play stood out. When he was moved to guard, Easton filled in admirably. If Easton shows big improvement in training camp, the Vikings could consider starting Berger at guard.


Vikings defense


Defensive end

Everson Griffen

Danielle Hunter

Brian Robison

Datone Jones

Stephen Weatherly

Analysis:

This group keeps opposing quarterbacks up at night. Griffen has established himself as a top-notch all-around D-end who can stuff the run and rush the quarterback with power and speed. Last season, Hunter took a huge step forward, finishing fifth in the NFL in sacks. His speed and length make him a very difficult matchup for right tackles. Being able to mix Robison and Jones into the lineup gives the Vikings some versatility and very capable depth in case of injury.


Defensive tackle

Sharrif Floyd

Linval Joseph

Tom Johnson

Shamar Stephen

Toby Johnson

Analysis:

When Floyd is healthy, he and Joseph make life difficult on any team hoping to run the ball up the middle. Floyd also gives an extra element of pass rush with his quickness off the line. Tom Johnson may be 32, but he can still get after the quarterback on third downs. In a fill-in role, Stephen can be serviceable, though it became clear that starting on a consistent basis might be too much to ask. The Vikings might want to add another DT in the draft or free agency to add to their depth at the position. They should be concerned about another year of Floyd on the shelf.


Linebacker

Eric Kendricks

Anthony Barr

Kentrell Brothers

Edmond Robinson

Emmanuel Lamur

Analysis:

A few question marks here: Will Anthony Barr bounce back after a tough 2016? Will the Vikings have to adjust his role? Who will take Chad Greenway’s spot in the base package? Should the Vikings add a skilled cover linebacker instead of a run-stuffer or can Robinson or Brothers take that spot? One thing that’s not in question is Eric Kendricks’ talent. He proved in Year 2 to be a playmaker and exceptional cover linebacker.


Cornerbacks

Xavier Rhodes

Terence Newman

Trae Waynes

Mackensie Alexander

Jabari Price

Analysis:

Last season, Rhodes moved himself into the “elite” category. It will be worth watching to see whether the Vikings can lock him into  long-term contract. Newman returns at age 39 after an impressive 2016. His role is yet to be determined. Waynes made enough progress for the Vikings to consider starting him on the outside and moving Newman to nickel. Alexander didn’t make a case for a job last year, so the Vikings could use one more experienced cornerback.


Safeties

Harrison Smith

Andrew Sendejo

Anthony Harris

Jayron Kearse

Antone Exum

Analysis:

You won’t find too many safeties who can do as many things at a high level as Smith. He is the key to the Vikings’ defensive scheme. His importance was painfully obvious when he missed a game late in the year. Sendejo improved last season, playing reliably alongside Smith, but there was a massive drop off when Kearse or Harris was forced to play. It wouldn’t be a shock if the Vikings brought in one more safety for a backup job.

  • styx rogan

    plenty “O” holes in the longhship….6-10 right now…SLIK RIK better have the draft of his life!

  • Jason Wisneski

    Sign a vet backup QB (Sanchez/McCown) and vet WR(Boldin/Aiken) and go into the draft and grab a RG, RB2, TE2, OLB, DT4, QB3, P & DT developmental.

    • Marc Spector

      Of all QBs in FA you choose Sanchez

      • MarkWattsMN

        Need a piece of “butt fumble” history.

    • Jeff

      WHAT?

    • Wilbur One

      Chase Daniel is still available, and rated better by PFF.

  • Mark L

    Clemmings beavers and sirles are all guards

    Boone is too tall to be a guard would be a good right tackle

    Is there any chance we could toss a late round pick to get my mychal kendricks from the eagles he and his bro would look good together

    If we want mixon let’s go all the way and grab all the guys kept out of the combine
    Mixon and Chad Kelly meant to be together both talented and crazy.

    • HeWhoKnowsAll

      You should coach our O line.

      • Mark L

        Couldn’t do worse

        • HeWhoKnowsAll

          You should tell them that at the interview.

    • MarkWattsMN

      Based on his play the last few years, Clemmings doesn’t belong in the NFL.

      • Scott Myhre

        I’m not sure if I agree, he’s only in his third year. as a rookie he was thrown to the wolves at right tackle and then moved in his second year to left tackle, the toughest position in the nfl. Yes, he played pretty poorly at both positions, but most linemen taken in later rounds, 3-7, sit for the first two or three years to learn just one position. I think it’s too early to throw him away yet, he may just catch on if the coaches leave him on the right side and not put pressure on him to start. He may eventually become a serviceable backup. If he makes it through training camp, we’ll know that the coaches see more of him than we do.

        • MarkWattsMN

          His 1st year he was the worst RT in the league, the following year he was the worst LT in the league.

          • Gordon Guffey

            With respect ~
            His first year as a rookie was only his 3rd year of playing on the OL ~ His freshman and sophomore college years he was a DT ~

            Not sure what people expect from a guy only playing OL for 2 year in college and then ask to start in year one against some of the best the NFL has to throw at him ~

          • MarkWattsMN

            OK, well this is the big leagues and if you get smoked on every play, the team needs to move on.

          • Gordon Guffey

            I would disagree with that ~ The team should have to start you your rookie year in this case nor should they have to move you to the left side where you have never played before ~ There have been any a player who didn’t come on till year 3 or 4 ~ And some of those players have been drafted in the first two round ~ But thats just my way of thinking ~

          • MarkWattsMN

            Unfortunately you don’t grade on a curve in the NFL.

            You either can get it done or you can’t.

          • Gordon Guffey

            There are a lot of GM’s and HC who would disagree with you ~

          • MarkWattsMN

            Really?

            So what GM says well my guy got a little better from being the worst OT in the NFL so that’s good.

          • Gordon Guffey

            I give you a lit of Vikings who have turn out well given time ~ Time they wouldn’t have had had the GM and coaches just cut and run ~ You’ll have to spend the time to look it up on other teams as I have been a Vikings only fan for the last 45 years ~ I can tell you about Viking players who prove what I’m saying ~ And I have listed a few ~ And those few have gone on to do great things ~ But here is one more for you ~ Donald Penn ~ Does that name strick a bell ~ Chilly cut him his first season without a so much a look see ~ He was undrafted and hadn’t done anything his first 3 years on the Vikings PS ~ He has went on to make I believe to be at least 5 pro bowls ~ The list goes on and on ~ NFL rosters are full of late bloomers ~

          • michael miller

            Well, at least he excels at failing. And not one but 2 positions…impressive!

          • B. A. Barakas

            You can’t excel at failure, that’s an oxymoron….when you fail…you just fail….

          • Gordon Guffey

            You guys kill me ~ I can’t stop laughing ~ LOL

        • David Prestin

          Or change the bohemoth to the guard position and just run the ball more.

    • brian199511

      Clemmings and Beavers aren’t football players at all. Like the idea to get Mixon but only at our current spot in the second round. Only player worth trading up for is the Stanford running back. Lots of interior OL lineman in the middle rounds. Boone is a good guard leave him there.

      • Jeff

        You are an idiot

        • brian199511

          And you lack a certain elegance, or even courtesy. How bad does a player have to perform to be given the chance to change careers?

    • PurpleFaithful

      Clemmons is a good run blocker. So is Sirles. I can see it.

      • Jeff

        Who is Clemmons?

      • Chris

        No the true. Clemmings was worse at run blocking then he was at pass blocking. He would be a horrible guard. Leave him as a back up so he can possibly unlearn some of those poor traits he developed

        • PurpleFaithful

          I would have thought it impossible for him to be worse at anything than he is at pass blocking…
          .
          I think the guard will be either berger or sirles. I think the center will be either eaton (sp) or berger. Be nice to see a certain former jet there….
          .
          I think we draft an interior lineman for some more depth, but doubtful you can count on round 2 to find a certain starter. Think we have the opening of camp starters already.
          .
          That hill guy did pretty well, i thought, at tackle last year. Wish vikes would have tried him earlier.

    • Gordon Guffey

      Totally agree on ~
      Clemmings beavers and sirles are all guards

      Boone is too tall to be a guard would be a good right tackle

      • Carl A Brodin

        We have Rashod Hill for OT

        • Gordon Guffey

          He played part of one game in 2016 ~ I want lie it would scares me to have to count on him ~ But who knows ~ The coaches see far more than any of us fans do ~ I would have to trust them on that call ~

    • Thomas Erdek

      MyKal Kendrick is horrible cover lb and below average tackler. Wouldn’t waste a back up punter on him.

    • linus

      “Boone is too tall to be a guard would be a good right tackle…” If Boone would be better at RT, he would be at RT.

      • Jeff

        You are a genius

      • Mark L

        Started out as a left tackle was a left tackle in college wasn’t as good as he had to be at left tackle or would be a left tackle.
        Might just be good enough at tackle to be a right tackle

        • Chris

          Actually the only reason he didn’t play LT with San Fransisco is because they already had all pro tackles on both the right and left side. So he went to guard.

      • Gordon Guffey

        I believe Boone and the rest of the OL player will have a much better chance of fitting into the scheme than they had with Novr and his ((( my way or be damn ))) way of thinking ~ Thats not say much though ~ LOL ~ I do hope they can find a good left OG so they can move Boone back to where he played his best with the 49ers ~ <<< based on what I have read <<<

  • MarkWattsMN

    WR / RB group still is weak. The OL is still weak. QB play ascended to average last season for the first time in a long time but with Bradford’s injury history I would like a solid backup. I’m still not a Rudolph fan.

    DB group still has questions with Waynes / Mac. I would like another DT to put next to Linval and the LB group could be above average if Barr plays like he did 2 years ago, if he plays like last year they’re suspect as well.

    • Bob T.

      I am pretty sure they just signed the guy they want to put next to Linval. I am pretty sure they took Jones to be a DT rather than a DE or LB.

  • BT
  • BT

    Lions Game this is all we need to judge
    https://youtu.be/giQHW1kpPcY

  • BT
  • Jeff

    WOW, a lot of imbecilic Vikings fans. Embarrassing.

  • jeffreyinoc

    Zac Kerin?

  • Gordon Guffey

    Lost of info giving lots to thinks about ~ Good job Mr Matthew Coller ~

  • Luis “TGO Fate”

    I’m gonna be honest with the signings that Rick has made, he’s positioned himself and the team to draft best players available. Which is great, considering that they won’t feel the need to reach for anyone. It also allows themselves to move back in rounds if there’s still certain players that they’re aiming to get.

  • Andre Esters

    Its always fun laying the most updated roster, helps see what the gameday lineup could be… unfortunately, as nice as a handful of starters look on either side of the ball, Minnesota will be in trouble the moment injuries sneak up again. Definitely not the strongest depth, so it should be very telling to see where GM Spielman and the coaches go with the 2nd and 3rd picks. Can’t wait till April.

    • Brian Kloeppner

      This 1000 times, the starters look like they could compete with any team in the league (obviously a hole here or there but that’s every team) but the moment they lose someone (which in today’s NFL will happen) they are going to be hurting. As you said hopefully they can add a few more players in the draft and even a few free agents that are still out there.

  • Foreman 44

    Good Read. No words on Morgan? Morgan is TE 2 – Great blocker and good hands. I believe Mack Alexander will get the Waynes year 2 treatment. Split time with Newman at Nickle and eventually take the job. Newman is ancient should not be a full time starter anywhere but he is a great backup at CB, Nickle and I think Safety. Hope he remembers that he is still a player and not a guest Defensive coordinator on game days. LOL

  • Jeeves

    The Twin Cities has the most negative, fickle sports fans in the nation. There are many good, solid fans; but there is a large number of whiney, Debby Downer, the sky is falling twits. These idiots confuse negativity with discernment and think that somehow being a negative whiner makes them seem somewhat intellectual. Nothing could be further from the truth. Painting everything in negative light is more of a detriment than being a kool-aid drinking homer. At least the homer is adding positive energy to the situations. The Negative Nellies suck the energy out of everyone they encounter.
    “Damn, we lost one starter and gained 3, plus a rotational player. How will we ever make this work? There’s only 64 people on the roster with FA still open and the draft coming up. We’re doomed.”‘

  • Wilbur One

    There is one glaring omission in this article and that’s the glossed over fact, that at this point, we don’t have any back up QBs that we can count on. We don’t know if Teddy will ever play again and our only option behind him is the never drafted, never taken a snap from center in a regular game Taylor Heinicke. Last year the team went in to the season on the QB (can you spare me a hundred bucks) cheap. This year (so far) we’re going to camp on the QB (can you spare me a nickle) cheap. That needs to be corrected. I did notice that Chase Daniel, who is the highest rated UFA QB by PFF, is still available and seven years younger than Hill.





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Previous Story Cordarrelle Patterson tweets at Adrian Peterson: ‘Bruh come join the dark side’ Next Story Even with Murray signing, Jerick McKinnon is still key in Vikings offense