Another edition of the Numbers Game! Jersey by Jersey, starting with Kyle Sloter and culminating with Danielle Hunter, #92Noon looks at the status & projection for each member of the Vikings Roster!
Listen to the on-air analysis below, from 92Noon!
31 - RB Ameer Abdullah -- Ameer hasn't scored a touchdown since late in the 2017 season when he was with Detroit. After joining Minnesota mid-season last year, he played in 7 games, totaling 1 reception for 10 yards and 10 kick returns at 25.5yds a pop. He was re-signed for 2019, and it looks like he'll be favored to take the 3rd RB spot on the final roster. I don't believe Mike Boone factors in here because Ameer can return kicks/punts. Now that Sherels is gone, the team has several players that could "potentially" be a return man, but few have experience. Holton Hill was one of those guys, I think, but...yeahhhhh. So Ameer looks to be in the mix.
32 - RB De'Angelo Henderson -- This number used to be Roc Thomas, until he was waived by the team after the 3-game marijuana suspension. Now it's 2017 Broncos 6th round pick De'Angelo Henderson. He scored a touchdown in 35 straight games for Coastal Carolina which might be a D1 record, but he hasn't done much through 2 seasons in the pros. 2017 in Denver, then 2018 with the Jets, he has accumulated 68 total yards and a receiving TD.
33 - Dalvin Cook -- Third year is the charm! The run game as a whole was so atrocious in 2018, that I see it as a bigger factor in the team missing the playoffs than any mistake that Kirk Cousins made or play he didn't make. The new offensive scheme is about getting the most of his running style and getting him into space. He was ascending week-by-week in 2018, looking more & more explosive as the ACL injury got farther back in the rear view mirror. Best case scenario is 1500+ total yards(rushing and receiving) and 10+ total TDs in 2019. First thing's first: can we get 15 games out of him? Can he stay healthy?
34 - CB Duke Thomas -- Went to Texas and excelled, but has had a hard time finding a home in the Pros. He's been a part of 4 other NFL teams, played in the CFL and was most recently with AAF squad San Antonio before joining the Vikings. Not much else to report on him.
35 - S Isaiah Wharton -- Cool thing is that he's durable, starting all 48 games in his career at Rutgers.
36 - CB Craig James -- Former Gophers player, he transferred to Southern Illinois for his final 2 years of college ball. Undrafted in 2018, picked up by the Vikings and placed on the practice squad. Activated and debuted against the Patriots last season, played special teams in 3 games. When speaking of the CB depth on this team with the Hughes injury and the Hill bleepshow, this would be the guy I think has a shot to win a reserve role, at least early on.
37 - S Derron Smith -- 6th Round pick by the Bengals in 2015 out of Fresno State, he's another journeyman player hoping to latch on to a team. Most recently, he was Duke Thomas' teammate in the AAF. Tallied 17 tackles in his NFL career. Was briefly with the Browns in 2017 before finding his way to the AAF this last winter. Probably not in the final mix.
38 - CB Kris Boyd -- Played at Texas with Holton Hill. Stands about 6' tall, 200lbs. If he's progressing in camp and we see a bunch of him in the preseason, I absolutely believe he'll be retained on the final roster. Without watching more of him in Eagan and the upcoming exhibitions, I can't really say a whole lot about him. He was originally touted as a late Day 2, early Day 3 pick but fell to the 7th round. 4.45 speed in the 40. If he listens and learns from Zim, he'll have a shot.
39 - S Marcus Epps -- Played safety at Wyoming, and it sounds like the team has been impressed by him so far. Like Craig James and Kris Boyd, he's another young kid that could benefit from the team needing secondary depth. The team has typically kept 10 DBs total. Xavier/Waynes/Mac/Hitman/Anthony Harris/Jayron...that's 6. No Sherels or Sendejo anymore, which leaves potentially 4 spots, 3 at the least that are up for grabs. Hughes could either start the year on the PUP and have to miss 6 games, or they keep him on roster if they think he'll be ready sooner. That would make 7. Hill is out for 8 games. So Epps will fight for one of those 2-3 spots.
40 - LB Kentrell Brothers -- Kentrell would fit on a lot NFL rosters. But does he have a spot on this team? He can't crack a starting spot at LB, but has been terrific on special teams for the squad since being selected in the 5th round of the 2016 draft. Got his first career sack last season. The LB position is sort of being minimized as more Nickel defenses are being played, which is why the Vikings are in a 4-3 base with 3 LB's on the field less than 30% of the time. Barr & Kendricks are on the field in those situations. Ben Gedeon has been the 3rd man up in base situations. Eric Wilson made a huge jump in 2018 so he's in the mix. The team also drafted Cameron Smith out of USC and they apparently really like him. Kentrell has been solid but not great. Feels like he's competing for a 5th/6th LB spot, depending on how many the team keeps on the final roster.
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