When the Minnesota Vikings wrapped up their first winless preseason since 1979, it was clear they had some changes to make. With a lack of depth throughout the roster, the Vikings need to have an open mind heading into their final round of roster cuts.
The Vikings have to get down to 53 players by 3 p.m. on Tuesday. While some decisions will be harder than others, there are certain players that played themselves out of a roster spot.
When Dozier signed with the Vikings, it triggered a collective groan through the state of Minnesota. Dozier graded 87th out of 92 qualifying guards last season according to Pro Football Focus but the Vikings kept trotting him out as their starting left guard.
With Dozier leading all guards with 46 pressures allowed, it was easy to predict his preseason performance. Dozier allowed a quarterback pressure on the first pass play of the preseason and later held Shamar Stephen in the end zone for a safety.
Dozier improved as the preseason went along but getting beat by a player that generated nine pressures in 16 games for the Vikings last season should be a red flag. Although Wyatt Davis remains with the third string and Dru Samia graded worse than Dozier, the Vikings need to put an end to the Dakota Dozier experience.
Weatherly left the Vikings after the 2019 season to claim a starting job with the Carolina Panthers but he didn't record a sack in nine games. The Panthers released Weatherly this offseason and the Vikings brought him back on a one-year deal.
The hope was that Weatherly could take over the starting job opposite Danielle Hunter but his preseason was disappointing. Weatherly generated four pressures in the three games, but posted 43.6 grade against the run, which was 14th among Vikings defensive linemen.
Preseason grades should be taken with a grain of salt but the Vikings' signing of Everson Griffen should not. The Vikings will have some egg on their face after giving Weatherly $2.5 million to come back but he doesn't appear to have a role on the team.
For a while, it appeared that Joseph was set to win the starting kicker job. The Vikings released Riley Patterson after the preseason opener and at one point, Joseph made 17 straight attempts during training camp.
But once Joseph got into games, something seemed to be off. Joseph made both field goal attempts in the loss to Denver but missed from 51 yards the following week against the Colts. With a final chance to win the job, Joseph missed from 52 yards before Mike Zimmer opted to go for two on a late touchdown.
For a head coach that presumably has his job on the line, Zimmer doesn't have time to play Russian Roulette with his kickers. With plenty of options available after final cuts, kicker might be one of the Vikings' top priorities.