UPDATE 5:30 P.M. FRIDAY
The Vikings announced the first wave of cuts, which are represented below if their name is in (parenthesis), and listed here: G Kareem Are, G Kaleb Johnson, WR Cayleb Jones, T Dieugot Joseph, CB Trevon Mathis, RB Kobe McCrary, FB Luke McNitt, LB Mike Needham, QB Peter Pujals, C J.P. Quinn, WR Korey Robertson, LB Brett Taylor, WR Jake Wieneke, LB Antwione Williams.
As of 3 p.m. Friday, there are 86 players on the Minnesota Vikings' roster, and that number needs to be trimmed to 53 by 3 p.m. Saturday.
That's 24 hours to break a lot of hearts. Here's the position-by-position breakdown of players fighting for a job. Players who are locks to make the team are in bold.
The way I see it, there are 46 locks to make the team, including third-string quarterback Kyle Sloter and Mike Boone as the third running back. That number jumps to 47 if we assume Brandon Zylstra is a lock as the fifth wide receiver.
That leaves six spots, which will undoubtedly be claimed by defensive linemen, linebackers and cornerbacks. The names that are probably sweating out cut day the most are cornerback Holton Hill, safety Anthony Harris, defensive ends Tashawn Bower, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Stephen Weatherly, wide receiver Chad Beebe, and linebackers Kentrell Brothers and Antwione Williams.
Quarterback (3 locks)
Kirk Cousins, Trevor Siemian, Kyle Sloter, (Peter Pujals)
Sloter has looked way too good to attempt to pass through waivers and sign to the practice squad.
Running back (3 locks)
Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, Mike Boone, Roc Thomas, Mack Brown
Thomas has a big preseason opener but didn't do too much afterward. Boone looked great all training camp and preseason.
Fullback (1 lock)
C.J. Ham, (Kobe McCrary), (Luke McNitt)
Ham clearly has a role in offensive coordinator John DeFilippo's game plans.
Wide receiver (4 locks)
Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell, Kendall Wright, Brandon Zylstra, (Jake Wieneke), Chad Beebe, Stacey Coley, Jeff Badet, Tavarres King, (Cayleb Jones), (Korey Robertson)
Zylstra is probably a lock, so the big question is whether the Vikes will keep six receivers. If they do, Beebe is the frontrunner to win the job.
Tight end (3 locks)
Kyle Rudolph, David Morgan, Tyler Conklin, Blake Bell, Tyler Hoppes
The rookie Conklin has looked sharp and likely did enough to earn a roster spot.
Offensive tackle (4 locks)
Riley Reiff, Brian O'Neill, Rashod Hill, Aviante Collins, (Deiugot Joseph), Storm Norton
Joseph and Norton will likely be cut, and Collins' versatility makes him a must have for depth.
Offensive guard (3 locks)
Mike Remmers, Tom Compton, Danny Isidora, Josh Andrews, (Kareem Are), (Kaleb Johnson), Colby Gossett
No surprises here.
Center (2 locks)
Pat Elflein, Brett Jones, Cornelius Edison, (J.P. Quinn)
Edison probably deserves a spot on the roster, but so long as Elflein is going to be healthy enough to play early in the season, there's not much room for Edison.
Defensive end (3 locks)
Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Brian Robison, Tashawn Bower, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Stephen Weatherly, Jonathan Wynn
It's expected that the Vikings will keep nine or 10 defensive linemen, and with just six locks we could be looking at a bunch of these guys sticking around. Bower, Weatherly and Odenigbo could all stick.
Defensive tackle (3 locks)
Linval Joseph, Sheldon Richardson, Jalyn Holmes, David Parry, Curtis Cothran
Holmes hasn't done much to impress anyone as a rookie, but the Vikings probably won't cut a fourth-round draft pick. That could be bad news for a guy like Parry, or for Bower, Weatherly or Odenigbo.
Linbacker (4 locks)
Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Ben Gedeon, Eric Wilson, Kentrell Brothers, Reshard Cliett, Devante Downs, (Mike Needham), (Brett Taylor), (Antwione Williams), Garret Dooley.
Mike Zimmer has lamented about the lack of linebacker depth he has, and with Brothers suspended four games to start the season it'll be surprising if Williams doesn't make the 53-man roster.
Safety (3 locks)
Harrison Smith, Andrew Sendejo, George Iloka, Anthony Harris, Jayron Kearse, Tray Matthews
The arrival of Iloka is bad news for Kearse or Matthews, most likely. Harris could very well make the team.
Cornerback (6 locks)
Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mike Hughes, Terence Newman, Mackensie Alexander, Marcus Sherels, Holton Hill, Jack Tocho, (Trevon Mathis), Craig James, Horace Richardson
Hill is the lone name who appears to have a chance to make the team, and his natural ability might be too much to pass up.
Special teams (3 locks)
Daniel Carlson, Ryan Quigley, Kevin McDermott