Vikings Who Need to Step Up in 2016 | #1 Sam Bradford

#1 | Sam Bradford

You can argue whether or not Bradford was worth the compensation the Vikings gave up to acquire him, but we won’t do that here.  He is now going to be the starting quarterback of the Vikings, but that may not happen until week 2.  Either way, Bradford’s play will have a tremendous influence on whether or not the Vikings are a playoff team this upcoming season.

Why Bradford’s Performance is so Important

Bradford was brought in because the Vikings front office believe he is a much better option at quarterback than Shaun Hill.  If he can pick up the playbook quickly, and play in the system without turning the ball over, the Vikings offense should run just as smoothly as if Teddy Bridgewater was under center running it himself.  If the offense can be effective and efficient, the Vikings have a team that is poised to make a very deep run in the playoffs.

Best Case
Bradford stays healthy all season long, and plays smart football.  He adapts well to the system, doesn’t turn over the ball too much, and the Vikings offense becomes very productive.  With an already stellar defense in tow, the Vikings go all the way and win the Super Bowl.

Worst Case
Bradford struggles for a few weeks and then gets hurt again.  The Vikings offense sputters under Shaun Hill, and despite it’s best efforts, the defense can’t carry the team to more than 5 wins.  The Vikings end up giving the Eagles a top ten pick, and Spielman and the entire Vikings Nation look like idiots for making the deal.

#10 – Charles Johnson
#9 – “Other Safety”
#8 – Matt Kalil
#7 – Laquon Treadwell
# 6 – Joe Berger
# 5 – Jeff Locke
#4 – Andre Smith
#3 – Blair Walsh
#2 – Trae Waynes


Predicting the 2016 NFL All-Rookie Team

Always fun to predict the All-Rookie team before the season has even began. This year is a little different from years past, we see a handful of mid rounders make the list, guys like Prescott/Sharpe on the offensive side of the ball, along with Washington/Martinez on the defensive side of the ball. Be sure to rip us apart if you don’t see your teams favorite rookie on the team and check back mid-season to see how we did.



Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

With Romo injured, Prescott steps in week 1 and becomes the starter. Prescott lit up opposing defenses in the preseason but look for him to come back to earth …. quickly. While he will be sure to continue to show flashes, I expect some growing pains early and often. That said, he has a legit shot at being the best rookie quarterback on the field come 2016.

Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans

With talent like the guys listed above these 2 choices were actually pretty easy. Elliot will be looked at to carry the load in Dally, and Henry will get plenty of carries himself while splitting time with Demarco Murray in Tennessee. Look for these guys to be 1 and 2 when it comes to rookie rushing yards at the end of the season.

Wide Receiver

Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
Tajae Sharpe, Tennessee Titans

No Coleman or Treadwell on this list ….. Shepard and Sharpe are set to start week 1 and will no doubt see a handful of balls thrown their way in their rookie campaign. It isn’t complete silly talk to see both of these guys top the 60+ receptions and possibly crack the 1,000 yard mark.

Tight End

Hunter Henry, San Diego Chargers

Henry enters a pretty great situation …. not only does he get to play with a gun slinging quarterback in Rivers but Henry gets to learn and play with one of the best tight ends to ever play the game.

Offensive Tackle

Ronnie Stanley, Baltimore Ravens
Jack Conklin, Tennessee Titans

I would be damn near flabbergasted if these two aren’t on the All-Rookie team at the end of the season. B0th will be stepping in as day 1 starters and have gotten rave reviews throughout the preseason. Not only will these be the best 2 offensive tackle rookies, but they cold be some of the best tackles period in only a handful of years.


Laremy Tunsil, Miami Dolphins
Germain Ifedi, Seattle Seahawks

Tunsil slides over to left guard as a rookie but that move should only be temporary, but while he is there, look for him to be dominant. Ifedi will be on the right side of the Seahawks line helping pave the way for the plethora of young backs that will be carrying the ball for Seattle.


Ryan Kelly, Indianapolis Colts

The Colts finally get their center, and he is a dandy. Kelly should help add some much needed relief to the Colts offensive line and has the chance to be one of the best young centers during his rookie season in Indy.


Defensive End

DeForest Buckner, San Francisco 49ers
Emmanuel Ogbah, Cleveland Browns

Buckner steps in day one for the 9ers and is instantly one of their best overall defenders. While Ogbah will most likely find his home at linebacker, I couldn’t resist putting the pass rusher at defensive end.

Defensive Tackle

Jarran Reed, Seattle Seahawks
Adophus Washington, Buffalo Bills

While I don’t see either of these guys putting up eye popping numbers during their rookie season, I do see them both holding down the starting spot for 16 games and instantly improving each of their defensive lines. Reed has the big body that Seattle has lacked in the middle for years and Washington is more of a threat to get his hands on the quarterback and put up a few sacks for the Bills in 2016.


Blake Martinez, Green Bay Packers
Leonard Floyd, Chicago Bears
Deion Jones, Atlanta Falcons

Out of these 3 only Martinez is penciled in as a starter right now, but don’t be surprised to see the other two on the field quite a bit in 2016. Floyd will be looked at to get to the quarterback while he refines the rest of his game and Jones has been turning heads in Atlanta to the point he might unseat current starter Paul Worrilow.


Vernon Hargreaves, Tampa Bay Bucs
James Bradberry, Carolina Panthers

First rounder Hargreaves has already proven he can sniff out the ball in the NFL notching 2 INTs this preseason. While Bradberry joins an already solid defensive unit in Carolina, the 2nd round pick from Samford already has himself a starting spot and will be a fun one to watch.


TJ Green, Indianapolis Colts
Karl Joseph, Oakland Raiders

I gotta be honest, I was mildly shocked at how high both these guys went on draft day. That said, they are the best of the bunch and both are holding down starting spots. Green steps in day 1 to help improve a Colts D while Joseph joins an up and coming defense in Oakland.



Roberto Aguayo, Tampa Bay

Had a shaky preseason …. but something tells me he will be just fine and might even prove he was worth that 2nd round pick.


Drew Kaser, San Diego Chargers

Loved this guy leading up to the draft, his big leg will wow Chargers fans.


Vikings Who Need to Step Up in 2016 | #2 Trae Waynes

#2 | Trae Waynes

Lets just say Waynes didn’t have the big coming out party his rookie season that we all had hoped for. He managed to see some time on the field and at times did show some glimpses of being a solid corner ….. he also showed some glimpses of being a liability in the secondary. I think with a year under his belt and another year of Zimmer’s guidance we could be in for a surprise from #26 this year. He played very well in preseason to the point where he could take Newman’s starting spot before we know it. Considering the lack of time he spent on the field last year, this actually could be considered his rookie season so expect teams to go at him and go at him hard. He’ll have his ups and downs in 2016, but any talk of being a bust right now it just silly talk.

Why Waynes’s Performance is so Important

It’s pretty obvious … this team is counting on Waynes to show why they took him at pick 11. If he can manage to get into the starting lineup adding him to the likes of Rhodes and the Hitman in the secondary would give the Purple a very bright future it the secondary for years to come. No secret that in the NFC North you really can’t have enough cornerbacks on your depth chart. Waynes will be tested week in and week out and teams will know to test and pick on him on a regular basis.

Best Case
Waynes takes away Newman’s starting spot before the halfway point of the season and holds his own not giving up the starting spot for the rest of the way.

Worst Case
He can’t manage to take the starting spot from an aging corner like Newman, and whispers start to get louder about him being a bust.

#10 – Charles Johnson
#9 – “Other Safety”
#8 – Matt Kalil
#7 – Laquon Treadwell
# 6 – Joe Berger
# 5 – Jeff Locke
#4 – Andre Smith
#3 – Blair Walsh


Vikings Who Need to Step Up in 2016 | #3 Blair Walsh

#3 | Blair Walsh

Unfortunately Walsh’s 2015 season will only be remembered for the 27 yard field goal he DIDN’T make. Overall he had a pretty good season hitting on 34/39 field goals and 6/8 from 50+. Which I would consider a pretty solid bounce back season from 2014 in which he missed 9 FGs. Where he REALLY needs to improve on is his extra points, he missed 4 total in 2015 alone ….. that just can’t happen. You can’t have your kicker lining up for extra points and be concerned that he might miss this thing. Overall I still consider Walsh in the top half of kickers in the NFL and if anyone can bounce back from a horrific miss in the playoffs it’s #3.

Why Walsh’s Performance is so Important

Sure … he is a kicker but in the NFC North points are points. With the Vikings expecting to have a dominating defense any and all points will help get this team back into the playoffs. With the loss of Teddy the last thing this coaching staff needs to worry about is if the kicker can manage to put in between the goal posts. Sure he’ll have the occasional miss, every kicker does, the main thing will be that he doesn’t go in streaks and can be the consistent kicker we have seen in years past.

Best Case
Walsh doesn’t look back to 2015 and continues to be the consistent big legged kicker we have seen in the past. He manages to put any doubt about missing extra points to rest.

Worst Case
He starts off the year inconsistent and misses continue to get stuck in his head. Has an up and down year to the point coaches might actually need to consider moving on.

#10 – Charles Johnson
#9 – “Other Safety”
#8 – Matt Kalil
#7 – Laquon Treadwell
# 6 – Joe Berger
# 5 – Jeff Locke
#4 – Andre Smith


Predicting the Vikings Practice Squad

With the final cuts in for the Vikings, the next big thing will be who ends up on the practice squad. While i’m sure the roster is far from actually set based off of other teams cuts, i’m going to assume they just bring back 8 of their own to fill out their P.S. Below is quick peak at who I think the Vikings will land.

1. CJ Ham, Running Back
2. Moritz Bohringer, Wide Receiver
3. Toby Johnson, Defensive Tackle
4. Tre Roberson, Cornerback
5. Stephen Weatherly, Defensive Line
6. Jhurell Pressley, Running Back
7. Willie Beavers, Offensive Line
8. Joel Stave, Quarterback

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