The Minnesota Vikings are less than a week from having to cut down their roster from 90 to 53 on Tuesday, August 29th. With that cutdown day, it will be the first time in that teams will have only one day of cuts.
That could create some chaos with teams trying to claim players off waivers. That in turn could make it easier to sneak a player onto the practice squad.
The Vikings have plenty of players on the roster bubble, but this group of eight needs a great performance to earn their spot on the roster.
1. RB DeWayne McBride
The running back position has been in flux for awhile. It cleared up a bit when the Vikings cut Dalvin Cook, but the backup job to Alexander Mattison was in flux until recently. DeWayne McBride had a chance to earn the job, but he struggled mightily in all phases. As a seventh-round pick, the Vikings don’t have a large investment into him. BarringKene Nwangwu’s injury status, he could be cut without a really good performance.
2. WR Trishton Jackson
The Vikings have a really nice wide receiver room. They have top-end talent, players with real potential and nice depth. One of those players is Trishton Jackson. He didn’t make the team last season but has came on strong this year. With Jalen Reagor and Brandon Powell also having really good training camps, having a really good finish is pivotal to making the roster.
3. TE Nick Muse
The tight end position is about whether or not they keep four players, not whether Nick Muse will overtake Johnny Mundt for TE3. Kevin O’Connell called Mundt the best TE3 in the NFL which would signal Mundt is making the team. Muse has been up-and-down at a position that is difficult to transition to in the NFL. He likely makes the practice squad no matter what, but a great finish could cause the Vikings to keep four.
4. C Josh Sokol
The interior of the Vikings offensive line is not very deep but there is a competition for the backup center spot. Chris Reed is still on the NFI list, which leaves Josh Sokol and Austin Schlottmann. Sokol has played really well in his second season with the Vikings and Schlottmann has been inconsistent so far. With a really good finish to training camp, Sokol could make the roster.
5. DL Esezi Otomewo
The Vikings defensive line has three locks and the rest of the guys are all on the same level. One of those is Esezi Otomewo, whom the Vikings selected in the fifth-round of the 2022 NFL draft. He has been inconsistent so far this preseason, but the Vikings have been using him all over the line of scrimmage, including lining up as a true edge rusher. It would be too early to give up on Otomewo, but his performance might lead to him getting cut.
6. NT T.J. Smith
The nose tackle position is really important for the 3-4. They need to be able to man two gaps in the running game and generate a solid pass rush. Smith has shown to be the second-best nose tackle on the roster and that could earn him a spot on the roster. Holding him back from getting that spot could be rookie Jaquelin Roy. He plays nose tackle, but weighs slightly over 300 lbs. A great performance from Smith could get him that roster spot or at the very least the practice squad.
7. CB Tay Gowan
The cornerback room is for sure going to have four guys in Byron Murphy Jr., Akayleb Evans, Andrew Booth Jr. and Mekhi Blackmon. Joejuan Williams is likely to make the team as well, but Tay Gowan’s preseason and training camp could make that difficult. He has had some really good practices and played decent in the games as well. If he can put together another good week and preseason game, the Vikings might have to keep Gowan.
8. S Theo Jackson
The Vikings safety room is honestly loaded. Their first-round pick from 2022 Lewis Cine is currently fourth on the depth chart and their fourth-round in 2023 pick Jay Ward is fifth. Theo Jackson has been really good all of preseason and training camp. The Vikings keeping six safeties would be unheard of, but the way these guys have all played, they have earned it.
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