With training camp kicking off this week, it's time for the annual fun game of trying to predict what the first 53-man roster will look like at the end of August. Let's roll with the names...
Quarterbacks - Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson (3)
Running Backs - Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart, Jerome Felton, Matt Asiata (4)
Wide Receivers - Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Jarius Wright, Stephen Burton, Joe Webb (6)
Tight Ends - Kyle Rudolph, John Carlson, Rhett Ellison (3)
Offensive Line - Matt Kalil, Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco, Phil Loadholt, Joe Berger, Jeff Baca, Troy Kropog, Kevin Murphy (9)
Defensive Tackle - Kevin Williams, Letroy Guion, Fred Evans, Sharrif Floyd, Christian Ballard (5)
Defensive End - Jared Allen, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen, Lawrence Jackson (4)
Linebackers - Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Desmond Bishop, Gerald Hodges, Marvin Mitchell, Larry Dean (6)
Cornerbacks - Chris Cook, Xavier Rhodes, Josh Robinson, Marcus Sherels, A.J. Jefferson, Bobby Felder (6)
Safeties - Harrison Smith, Jamarca Sanford, Mistral Raymond, Robert Blanton (4)
Specialists - Cullen Loeffler, Blair Walsh, Jeff Locke (3)
A few notes
-Some of the young guys we're all interested in watching this preseason - such as Greg Childs (WR), Adam Thielen (WR), Michael Mauti (LB), Anthony McCloud (DT), and Zach Line (FB/RB) - are all eligible to land on the practice squad, so that's why I opted not to include them above.
-I hope I'm wrong about Burton and/or Webb because that would mean that Childs, Thielen or Chris Summers impresses enough to force their way onto the roster. I could say the same about the final name or two at linebacker and in the secondary.
The Vikings enter training camp with their fair share of questions, as Bo Mitchell outlined earlier this week, but I left this exercise feeling strong about the roster in general. All of my biggest questions marks and guesses came at deep depth spots, such as who would be the fifth WR, ninth OL, or sixth CB. There will be some excellent battles for those final spots, which is exactly what you want in training camp. But I also like the feeling that the top 45 or so names are pretty well locked in, even if there is still some jockeying for depth chart positioning.
So, what do you think? Feeling good about where we're at? Anyone I left off who you think will definitely make the squad?