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Lunchbreak: 53 Roster Takeaways by The Athletic Includes Notes on 7 WRs

The Vikings regular-season roster is – mostly – set with under a week to go until their season opener against the Packers Sunday.

Chad Graff of The Athletic reviewed each player on Minnesota's 53-man roster, rolling out 53 takeaways.

Graff offered thoughts on each of the seven wide receivers currently on the Vikings roster, starting with Adam Thielen. Graff wrote:

For the first time since he became a starter, Thielen doesn't have Stefon Diggs opposite him. How does it change things now that he's the for-sure go-to guy? The bet here is that he bounces back from an injury-riddled season with around 1,200 receiving yards.

Graff wrote that Bisi Johnson took "another big step" during training camp and that first-round pick Justin Jefferson made "highlight-worthy" grabs in his first NFL practices. He noted that fifth-round pick K.J. Osborn will likely primarily contribute on special teams but "did enough" as a receiver to solidify a spot on the roster.

[Chad Beebe's] issue has never been creating space. It's rather remarkable, actually, how easily he's able to shake free from defenders and find an opening, especially on third down. But until he shows that he can limit his drops and stay healthy for a full season, there will be questions.

Graff said that Dan Chisena, who made the team as an undrafted free agent and may be the speediest guy on the roster, "clearly made a big impression in a short period" of time.

And former Titans receiver Tajaé Sharpe is looking to capitalize on a "fresh start" in Minnesota. 

Below are additional takeaways Graff offered for various Vikings:

T Oli Udoh

The seventh-round pick from a year ago has had a rather quick and impressive rise. The Vikings kept him off the practice squad a year ago for fear that they may lose him to another team, then watched him play well enough with the second-team offense in camp that they didn't need to move Ezra Cleveland to tackle. He's still No. 4 on the offensive tackle depth chart, but there's reason to have optimism about his trajectory.

DE Yannick Ngakoue

The newest acquisition doesn't have long to learn the system. But he excels at one thing — rushing the passer. Even if the Vikings have traditionally asked their ends to play the run well, too, they can just turn Ngakoue loose, especially on third down. It'll be fun to see what Zimmer does to really take advantage of Ngakoue's skills.

LB Troy Dye

It seemed a bit of a surprising pick in April when the Vikings selected the Oregon product in the fourth round. But it looks like a prudent selection now for a team without much depth there. Dye got ample work in training camp, perhaps more than any other rookie thanks to a roster with few linebackers, and showcased an ability to play well in coverage.

CB Cam Dantzler

No defensive player stood out as much in training camp as Dantzler. He made several big plays and had a stretch of practices that made him the talk of the team. He's not as consistent as you'd like, but that's typical of a rookie. It seems he has a very bright future that likely includes a role this season.

Roster cut takeaways include Vikings safeties group

On Saturday, all NFL teams reduced their rosters to 53 players.

The Vikings announced their initial roster moves, and then on Sunday they added linebacker Ryan Connelly and waived Hardy Nickerson.

Worth noting on the Vikings roster is that, as it stands now, Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris are the team's only safeties. It's almost certain that Minnesota will add to the group in the near future, but to say that depth is a current concern would be an understatement.

In his "32 takeaways" after roster cut-downs, CBS Sports' R.J. White highlighted the Vikings safeties, saying that "health is critical" for the position group. White wrote:

The Vikings decided not to keep anyone behind their starting pair of safeties, with 2020 sixth-round pick Josh Metellus, UDFA Myles Dorn and Steven Parker among the team's cuts on Saturday. That means Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, who are both excellent players, are going to be playing as many snaps as they can handle. Receiver Dan Chisena has also spent a little time at the safety position in camp, so he could help in a pinch, but we should expect Minnesota to find a more suitable backup plan for Smith and Harris before game day.

In roster moves announced Sunday, Dorn was added to the Injured Reserve list, and Metellus was signed to the Vikings practice squad.

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