Minnesota Vikings 2014 Season: Predicting the Final 53-Man Roster

Minnesota Vikings 2014 Season: Predicting the Final 53-Man Roster

Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings released their first round of roster cuts earlier this morning, most notably including veterans CB Derek Cox and S Mistral Raymond. With another round of roster cuts coming soon, it is time to take a look at what the Vikings' 53-man roster may look like.

Quarterbacks (2)

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks (2)

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cassel
Teddy Bridgewater

With Mike Zimmer naming Cassel the starter early today, his presence and Bridgewater’s on the Vikings’ 53-man roster should come as no surprise. Christian Ponder does not make the final cut in order to make space for a player who can benefit the team.

Running Backs (4)

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs (4)

Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson
Jerick McKinnon
Matt Asiata
Jerome Felton

The Vikings did not cut any running backs during the first round of cuts, but do not expect Joe Banyard, Dominique Williams and Zach Line to make it through the next round.

Wide Receivers (6)

Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receivers (6)

Cordarrelle Patterson Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Cordarrelle Patterson
Greg Jennings
Jarius Wright
Jerome Simpson
Adam Thielen
Rodney Smith

Thielen has proven versatile enough to deserve a roster spot, as he adds special teams depth, and Smith gives the Vikings a tall, athletic red zone threat.

Tight Ends (3)

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Tight Ends (3)

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Rudolph
Rhett Ellison
Chase Ford

Ford was activated from the PUP list earlier today and should solidify the No. 3 tight end spot this weekend. With A.C. Leonard cut a few weeks back, there is not really anybody else to challenge for this spot.

Offensive Linemen (10)

Matt Kalil Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Linemen (10)

Matt Kalil Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kalil (T), Charlie Johnson (G), John Sullivan (C), Brandon Fusco (G), Phil Loadholt (T), Antonio Richardson (T), David Yankey (G), Joe Berger (C), Vladmir Ducasse (G), Austin Wentworth (T)

No real surprises here. Richardson has done enough as an undrafted free agent to earn a backup role on the Vikings' roster.

Defensive Linemen (8)

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Linemen (8)

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Robison (DE)
Sharrif Floyd (DT)
Linval Joseph (DT)
Everson Griffen (DE)
Corey Wootton (DE)
Fred Evans (DT)
Scott Crichton (DE)
Shamar Stephen (DT)

Only notable cut here is veteran DT Tom Johnson. Stephen has earned a spot in the absence of Joseph, which makes Johnson the odd man out.

Linebackers (7)

Anthony Barr Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Linebackers (7)

Anthony Barr Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Barr (OLB)
Jasper Brinkley (MLB)
Chad Greenway (OLB)
Gerald Hodges (OLB)
Audie Cole (MLB)
Brandon Watts (OLB)
Michael Mauti (OLB)

Watts is likely the only surprise here, but he has played surprisingly well. Mauti holds onto his spot due to his role on special teams.

Defensive Backs (10)

Xavier Rhodes Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Backs (10)

Xavier Rhodes Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier Rhodes (CB), Captain Munnerlyn (CB), Josh Robinson (CB), Marcus Sherels (CB), Jabari Price (CB). Harrison Smith (S), Jamarca Sanford (S), Robert Blanton (S), Antone Exum (S), Chris Crocker (S)

Crocker takes the final safety spot over Kurt Coleman due to familiarity with Zimmer’s defense, while Sherels earns final cornerback spot over Kendall James due to his value on special teams.

Special Teams (3)

Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams (3)

Blair Walsh Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Blair Walsh (K)
Jeff Locke (P)
Cullen Loeffler (LS)

No surprises here. The veteran long snapper Loeffler returns for his 10th consecutive season with the Vikings.

Robert Reidell is a Featured Blogger for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+.