5 Veteran Vikings on The Roster Bubble

Bringing in 26 (yes, 26) rookies in the draft in a two-year span is sure to create some intense roster competition. Not every player from last year’s historic 15-player draft class made it, but there were a number of key contributors, Justin Jefferson foremost among them. This past draft, Slick Rick selected a mere 11 players, a clear step down from last year and yet still plenty given that there are only seven rounds. As a result, several Vikings veterans are on the roster bubble. Here are the top-5 who are fighting for their careers in Minnesota.

#5: Chad Beebe

I like Beebe and think he should Beebe on the team (sorry, had to roll with the pun). In fact, I think the concerns about WR3 are overblown. The reason is because I believe that the key isn’t having great receivers but, rather, having great pass catchers. Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson are an elite pair, and then the next options in the passing game ought to be Dalvin Cook and Irv Smith Jr. If Beebe is my fifth option in the passing game, I’m feeling confident.

Fans, quite often, get preoccupied with what a player can’t do rather than what he can do. I see that Beebe can’t burn it down the field and win contested catches on a regular basis. What he can do, though, is provide toughness and shiftiness from the slot. Why is he on this list? Well, the Vikings seem to have suggested that their veteran slot receiver is on the roster bubble. They did so by giving him such a modest contract: a completely unguaranteed one-year, $920,000 deal.

If Ihmir Smith-Marsette really shows promise or some of those UDFA receivers show potential, Beebe may be looking for work. Beebe would be a prime candidate for the practice squad.

#4: Britton Colquitt

No one can be satisfied with how things worked out on special teams last year. I probably don’t need to convince you of this fact, but a few quick details to help prove my point. PFF lists Colquitt as their 32nd-ranked punter. Only 33 were ranked. His 56.5 score was the worst of his career, and it was a dramatic drop from the previous season’s 74.4 grade.

The end result was a restructuring of Colquitt’s deal. He is now heading into the season with less guarantees, a reality that makes any veteran player easier to cut. For the record, I do think Colquitt makes it, but it’s at least notable that Zach Davidson and Zach Von Rosenberg were brought in to compete. Colquitt will need to earn his spot a year after having been essentially guaranteed his starting position.

Editor’s Note: Since Von Rosenberg was cut, I’m now leaning toward Colquitt making it.

#3: Dakota Dozier

Wyatt Davis or Oli Udoh are going to end up taking the RG spot and Ezra Cleveland should end up at LG. Mason Cole has been brought in to be the primary depth along the interior.

The main thing Dozier has going for him is his versatility. His main downside is that he simply isn’t a very good offensive lineman. PFF ranks him as their 77th guard out of 80 total. Cutting him, as you’ll see in the Tweet below, would save the Vikings some cap space.

#2: Dru Samia

There’s really no way to sugarcoat it: Samia was awful last year. He just doesn’t look like an NFL-caliber offensive lineman.

Dozier was near the very bottom of PFF‘s ranking with a score of 44.6. Samia finished with a 33.1. For comparison, Ezra Cleveland was a college LT who was thrust into the RG spot midway through the year, but he still finished with a 66.2 grade. Cleveland, per PFF, was twice as good as Samia even though he was a rookie playing out of position (and let’s not forget the pandemic complications). I certainly don’t mean to be unnecesarily critical of Samia; the dude made it to the NFL, which is far more than I could ever say. I just don’t see how he could justify a roster spot at this point in time.

#1: Jalyn Holmes

Personally, I’m pulling for Holmes. I think he is a strong run defender who has a role within a strong defensive line. The Vikings appear to believe otherwise.

Spielman and Zim brought in Janarius Robinson and Patrick Jones to compete at defensive end. Jaylen Twymen was also selected to compete at 3T. D.J. Wonnum isn’t going anywhere, and Stephen Weatherly is unlikely to be cut since he’s a highly intelligent, solid vet. Let’s also not forget Hercules Mata’afa, a player who had some strong moments last season. There appears to be too many players who can play DE and kick inside to 3T on passing downs.

If it was my choice, I’d definitely lean toward keeping him, but the odds are not in his favor.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 19. We are re-posting since training camp is now underway.