Analyzing the Vikings roster moves

VikingsJoe Webb over Stephen Burton. In an amazing testament to his versatility and athleticism, Joe Webb made the transition to wide receiver this spring and beat out Stephen Burton for the final roster spot. This writer felt that Burton came to camp as a much more polished and improved player then the one we saw last season. He has very good hands and flashed very good body control throughout the preseason. However, he was inconsistent in the Vikings’ final two preseason games and had made some unfortunate route running gaffes that may have factored in this decision. On the other hand, Webb showed very good hands and improved route running skills (a testament to how hard he worked this off-season). He caught a touchdown pass from Ponder that showed promise as a red zone target. He’ll probably also factor in on special teams and offers a much higher ceiling as a down the road contributor.

Sherels survives again: Sherels seems to excel at the right moments as evedenced by his notable preseason performances which allowed him to claim one of the Vikings’ final roster spots. He saved his best for last on Thursday night, returning a kickoff 109 yards for a touchdown and recording an interception in what had to be one of the most difficult weeks of the young mans life. Less than a week ago, he had to attend his father’s funeral, regroup when there was no leeway to grieve his loss. The performance was enough for Sherels to fight off Bobby Felder for the Vikings’ final cornerback spot. It is likely that his versatility as the team’s punt returner helped as well. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer praised Sherels’ sure hands and decision-making this week. That probably helped him beat out Felder, who the team hopes to retain on the practice squad.
Desmond Bishop made a loud and clear statement to the team that he should be the starting strong side linebacker with two strong performances after a slow and mediocre start due to injury. He is clearly the best linebacker on this team not named Greenway or Henderson. (The latter is debatable, the former is definitive).
Comments on the rookie class: Cordarrelle Patterson is the real deal ! He is a superstar in the making. His speed and athletisicm coupled with his physical size and natural strength will soon become a defensive coordinators nightmare. From this perspective, Speilman hit a homerun by spending all those draft picks in order to move up to grab him at the tail end of the first round. He should be in the running for rookie of the year.
Xavier Rhodes may struggle early on, but shows potential to become an elite shutdown corner for years to come. He flashes a rare first step when breaking on the ball and has the speed to stay with most receivers while having the size to match-up with the bigger Calvin Johnson’s of the league.
Sharrif Floyd may be a work in progress and will begin the season as a back-up to Kevin Williams, but this player has the potential to become a disruptive force in the middle of the defensive line in the not-too-distant future. His quick first step is a good fit for the Vikings gap splitting scheme and he can blow up plays before they happen. He reminds this writer of a young Warren Sapp. If he ends up anywhere near as good a player, then the Vikings have struck gold.
Michael Mauti will go as far as his fragile legs can take him. He has a high NFL I.Q. and shows the leadership skills necessary to play the “Mike” linebacker spot. He should provide solid depth behind Erin Henderson in the middle while he learns the nuances of what it takes to play in the NFL.
Gerald Hodges has a long way to go before he is ready to play in the NFL. The team kept him because he would not have made it through wavers and on to the practice squad. He looks a bit undersized and seems to lack quick instincts as he looked rather lost on the field at times arriving a split second late on too many plays. Chalk the hesitation up to rookie gitters or perhaps not having his role down to the point where it is instinctual if you want. It appears that he will have to learn on the run while contributing on special teams this season.
Zach Line made enough of an impression as a receiving and blocking fullback to make the team temporarily at least. He has 3-4 weeks to make his case to stay on the 53-man roster when fullback Jerome Felton returns after serving his 3 game suspension.

Along with Felton, offensive tackle DeMarcus Love (suspension) and Christian Ballard (personal reasons) were not included on the initial 53-man roster, nor will G Seth Olsen who was placed on injured reserve.

                                           The Vikings have trimmed their roster to 53 players by the NFL’s 6 p.m. ET deadline on Saturday.

Below is the complete list of cuts made by Minnesota:

  • TE Colin Anderson
  • RB Joe Banyard
  • S Brandan Bishop
  • OL Travis Bond
  • CB Brandon Burton
  • WR Stephen Burton
  • DT Everett Dawkins
  • S Darius Eubanks
  • CB Bobby Felder
  • TE Chase Ford
  • OL Brandon Keith
  • DT Anthony McCloud
  • LB Tyrone McKenzie
  • OL Kevin Murphy
  • DT Spencer Nealy
  • DE D’Aundre Reed
  • WR Rodney Smith
  • WR Adam Thielen
  • DE Collins Ukwu

 


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