The 2018 NFL Preseason is officially in the books for every team and much like all of their competition the Minnesota Vikings have some hefty decisions ahead of them before cut day comes and goes on Saturday.
Below we've highlighted a handful of the more heated position battles that Rick Spielman, Mike Zimmer and the rest of the personnel department will have to consider as they make the final roster moves.
Trevor Siemian vs Kyle Sloter (backup QB)
It's a battle that we didn't really think we'd have to discuss when the roster was taking shape earlier this offseason, but given the way that they've performed through four preseason games there should at least be a conversation about keeping Kyle Sloter over Siemian for the backup quarterback role. Sloter has been the more productive passer, the more visible leader and his enthusiasm has been contagious in the latter parts of games this preseason. If on the field performance in preseason games were the only factor here Sloter would have a chance. We know that's not the case, we also know that Sloter won't slip through onto the practice squad anymore either. It's a keep Sloter on active 53 or let him go elsewhere.
Chad Beebe vs Brandon Zylstra (WR 5)
The top there WRs are set for the Minnesota Vikings. It's Diggs, Thielen and Treadwell. From there it's someone like Stacy Coley or Kendall Right at WR4 and then Beebe or Zylstra at WR5. Zylstra was the favorite coming into camp but an injury in the middle of the preseason pushed him to the sidelines and Beebe made the most of those extra reps. Showing up in the passing game and factoring more on special teams might have temporarily pushed Beebe ahead after game three. With Beebe sidelined in game 4 (maybe a hint), Zylstra bounced back in the fourth game with a handful of catches and a TD. Zylstra's track record in the CFL would like make him too enticing to put on the practice squad as someone will snatch him up.
Holton Hill vs Marcus Sherels (CB/PR)
It's a yearly tradition unlike any other, each fall we start to doubt whether or not Marcus Sherels is going to make the team...and each year the man they call "Mighty Mouse" makes the team and dominates the league as a punt returner. Every. Single. Time. Does that come to an end this season? Holton Hill was a preferred college free agent for the Vikings after he fell out of the draft with issues. He then struggled on the field through the first handful of preseason games and splashed in game four when Zimmer had him play every defensive snap and handle returns. Hill had a 53-yard kick return and four solid punt returns as well as showing up on defense as well. With Mike Hughes eating into Marcus Sherels value as a punt returner, this decision will then lean towards the impact on the defense and there just might be more potential there with Hill. That said, I dare you to count Marcus Sherels out...I dare you!
Mike Boone vs Roc Thomas (RB3)
Roc Thomas splashed onto most of our radars in the first preseason game against Denver when he rolled up a 75-yard touchdown reception, tacked on another and showed up big in game number one. From that point on, it really was Mike Boone getting the edge each week. Beyond that, Boone might fit what the Vikings are looking for a little better as a third down back or single play fill in. Thomas got dinged up in the final game which didn't help his cause, but Boone has been solid, he's been consistent and frankly he's been impressive all preseason long.