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2019 NFL Roster Breakdown: Minnesota Vikings

Roster Changes


Key additions

QB Sean Mannion, WR  Jordan Taylor, G Josh Kline, DT Shamar Stephen


Key losses

QB Trevor Siemian, RB Latavius Murray, WR Aldrick Robinson, OT Mike Remmers, G Tom Compton, C Nick Easton, DT Sheldon Richardson, CB Marcus Sherels, S Andrew Sendejo, S George Iloka


2019 draft class

C Garrett Bradbury (1.18), TE Irv Smith Jr. (2.50), RB Alexander Mattison (3.102), G Dru Samia (4.114), LB Cameron Smith (5.162), DT Armon Watts (6.190), S Marcus Epps (6.191), OT Oli Udoh (6.193), CB Kris Boyd (7.217), WR Dillon Mitchell, WR Olabisi Johnson (7.247), LS Austin Cutting (7.250)


Projected Starters



QB: Kirk Cousins
RB: Dalvin Cook
WR: Adam Thielen
WR: Stefon Diggs
TE: Kyle Rudolph
TE: Irv Smith Jr.
LT: Riley Reiff
LG: Pat Elflein
C: Garrett Bradbury
RG: Josh Kline
RT: Brian O’Neill



DE: Danielle Hunter
DT: Linval Joseph
DT: Shamar Stephen
DE: Everson Griffen
OLB: Anthony Barr
MLB: Eric Kendricks
CB: Xavier Rhodes
CB: Trae Waynes
CB: Mackensie Alexander
S: Harrison Smith
S: Anthony Harris


Team Outlook


Notable depth

QB Sean Mannion, RB Alexander Mattison, RB Michael Boone, RB Ameer Abdullah, FB C.J. Ham, WR Laquon Treadwell, WR Chad Beebe, WR Jordan Taylor, TE Tyler Conklin, OT Rashod Hill, OT Oli Udoh, G Dru Samia, DE Stephen Weatherly, DT Jaleel Johnson, OLB Ben Gedeon, MLB Cameron Smith, MLB Eric Wilson, CB Mike Hughes, CB Holton Hill, S Jayron Kearse


Biggest strength: Cornerback

Minnesota is absolutely loaded at the position, as Xavier Rhodes—despite not being quite his best in 2018—is a true shutdown corner, Trae Waynes is an above-average starter that continues to get better, Mackensie Alexander has grown into the slot role, and 2018 Mike Hughes should be ready to contribute coming off a torn ACL. Trade talk has seemed to surround the group (particularly Waynes and Alexander) over the past few years, but I think the Vikings keeping the band together will give them the best chance of finally making a Super Bowl run.


Biggest weakness: Overall depth

Besides cornerback, the overall depth for Minnesota has dwindled in large part due to Kirk Cousins’ contract, and they will rely on a bunch of rookies to step up (MIN had 12 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, which led the league). On both sides of the ball, this year’s draft class could be thrown into the fire if/when injuries hit, so we’ll see if they are up for the challenge.


Position battle to watch: Guard

The starters are set basically everywhere, but fourth-round pick Dru Samia could potentially work his way into the starting lineup by beating out veteran Josh Kline. Either way, the Vikings should feel more optimistic about the offensive line this season, as Kline was a solid player for Tennessee, and the interior will have some added versatility. For now, I’d give the clear edge to the veteran at right guard.


One more thought

Kirk Cousins deserves more than one season to prove the Vikings made a good decision by signing him to a $84-million-fully-guaranteed deal through 2020, but I’m not sure how patient everyone will be if expectations aren’t met this fall/winter. Throwing for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns won’t matter if the team doesn’t win big games, and that’s what Cousins was brought in to do.


Early over/under: 9 wins (via CBS Sports)

Under. Minnesota has the same number as Chicago and Green Bay, but I’m taking the under for them, as it seems like they are missing something with this current core. Plus, if the primetime woes don’t go away, they could struggle down the stretch with four of their final seven games coming at night.


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