Vikings' 53-man roster projection includes six wide receivers

The Minnesota Vikings must cut their roster to 53 players by 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Here's a final 53-man roster projection:

QUARTERBACK (3): Sam Bradford, Case Keenum, Taylor Heinicke

Heinicke led a memorable comeback victory over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday, but he never challenged Keenum for the No. 2 job. It's possible the Vikings will try to get him through waivers and onto their practice squad. Teddy Bridgewater (knee) almost certainly will open the season on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he will be ineligible to play for at least the first six weeks.

RUNNING BACK (3): Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, Jerick McKinnon

Cook won the starting job in part due to early injuries that Murray and McKinnon suffered, but he has proved to be an exciting three-down prospect. McKinnon could wind up returning kickoffs as well.

FULLBACK (1): C.J. Ham

Yes, the Vikings plan to keep a full-time fullback on their roster. Ham spent most of 2016 on the practice squad and, at 236 pounds, has successfully made the transition from tailback.

WIDE RECEIVER (6): Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell, Rodney Adams, Stacy Coley, Jarius Wright

The group expands to protect two rookies (Adams and Coley). Wright, a veteran who hasn't climbed out of the depth chart hole he dug last season, gets a spot in part due to Michael Floyd's looming four-game suspension.

TIGHT END (3): Kyle Rudolph, David Morgan, Kyle Carter

Carter seems better suited to help right away than rookie Bucky Hodges, but it's possible that Hodges will get the nod in a relatively close race because he was a 2017 draft choice.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Riley Reiff, Alex Boone, Nick Easton, Pat Elflein, Joe Berger, Mike Remmers, Rashod Hill, Jeremiah Sirles, Danny Isidora

National focus will fall squarely on this group, which had its struggles in the offseason. As a result, it's possible the Vikings will find a way to squeeze a 10th lineman -- mostly likely tackle Aviante Collins -- onto the 53-man roster.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9): Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson, Brian Robison, Shamar Stephen, Jaleel Johnson, Tashawn Bower, Stephen Weatherly

The deepest segment of the Vikings' roster gets nine members, even though perhaps only six or seven will see regular time in the rotation.

LINEBACKER (6): Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Ben Gedeon, Emmanuel Lamur, Kentrell Brothers, Eric Wilson

Gedeon won not only a roster spot but likely the starting weakside job when the Vikings are in their base defense. Lamur gets the nod over Edmond Robinson based on his history with coach Mike Zimmer when both were with the Cincinnati Bengals.

SECONDARY (10): Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Terence Newman, Mackensie Alexander, Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo, Marcus Sherels, Anthony Harris, Jayron Kearse, Antone Exum Jr.

The Vikings get some of their top special-teams depth from the secondary, including Sherels on punt returns. Exum, who can play nickel or safety, gets the final spot.

SPECIALISTS (3): PK Kai Forbath, P Ryan Quigley, LS Kevin McDermott

For now, at least, the Vikings go with the veterans in both of their kicking competitions. It’s possible they will seek waiver additions over the weekend.