Personnel Analysis: Roster Cuts 1.0

Competition was stiff to make the Vikings' opening-day 53-man roster this season. Here's one take on why some decent players did not make the final cut.

The following players are among those notified they would be released by the Vikings today:

 WR Martin Nance – Perhaps as tough a decision as coach Brad Childress had to make.  A productive receiver who can probably play and contribute, but he simply didn’t offer anything unique in comparison to the other receivers who were kept.  To some degree, he’s a poor man’s Sidney Rice.  It was interesting that he made a play on special teams against Dallas.  More of that might have made a difference.  A team needing help at receiver due to injuries could do a lot worse than picking up Nance right now.

LB Rufus Alexander – A surprise to some as he showed flashes of playmaking ability.  However, he also showed in getting a lot of reps some inconsistency (both on defense and special teams) and a propensity for not being a very strong tackler.  Alexander is still practice squad eligible.

C Dan Mozes – A crafty and productive technician who can play both center and guard.  Mozes lacks great natural size against bigger NFL opponents and is really more of an overachiever type athletically.  However, his understanding of the game and versatility inside make him a practice squad candidate if he clears waivers.

TE Braden Jones – I’ve always really liked Jones as a pass-catching tight end, but a healthy Garrett Mills offers the same but with more polish, consistency and perhaps flexibility (to play fullback, as well).  Jones has practice squad potential and still offers some upside with continued skill development and work in the weight room.

OT Chase Johnson – The Vikings had hopes for Johnson and essentially carried him on the active roster all last season, but he struggled from the get go, especially with any kind of speed on the pass rush and was passed on the depth chart by rookie free agents Drew Radovich and Tim Mattran early in training camp.

CB Brandon Sumrall – A decent zone-corner prospect with good hands and ball skills.  However, he struggles in man-to-man situations and keeping up with premier NFL-caliber receivers speedwise.  A viable practice squad candidate.

WR Nate Jones – Steady, productive, all-around wideout prospect with no truly outstanding physical characteristic.  A good camp player but just doesn’t flash enough special qualities to make a regular-season roster.

DE Chris Norwell – A big guy with some movement skills but really a camp caliber prospect all the way.  Did not flash or do anything to stand out in limited reps.

We will update our analysis of the team’s personnel decisions as information becomes available throughout the weekend.

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