Questions Answered: Most Reasonable Shocking Roster Prediction, Comeback Player of the Year, Jayron Kearse

Jan 3, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (25) celebrates with fullback C.J. Ham (behind) center Garrett Bradbury (56) and tight end Irv Smith (84) after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the May 30th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to DustinBakerNFL@gmail.com.

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.


Q: What is your most reasonable but shocking roster prediction for the 2022 Vikings?

Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Armon Watts (96) warms up before the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

A: This criterion is tricky because some predictions might seem obvious to some but stunning to others. So, we’ll go with a list of reasonable-but-shocking roster theories:

  • Jaylen Twyman or Esezi Otomeow oust Armon Watts for a starting DL spot.
  • Rookie Brian Asamoah is ready to go right away, and Jordan Hicks does not start.
  • Alexander Mattison is cut in favor of rookie Ty Chandler.
  • Ed Ingram is moved to center.
  • Paul Allen mentioned the theory of Jalen Nailor becoming the team’s WR3.
  • Greg Joseph never kicks in the regular season again for the Vikings.
  • Andrew Booth and Cameron Dantzler, not Patrick Peterson, are the team’s starting CBs.
  • Camryn Bynum starts at free safety instead of Lewis Cine.

Too many? Too bold?

Not all of those will come to fruition, but they’re feasible.

Q: Which Vikings players could win Comeback Player of the Year?

Jan 22, 2020; Kissimmiee, Florida, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith (55) during NFC practice at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A: There are two candidates — Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith.

Hunter has missed 26 games in the last two seasons. Smith missed almost all of the 2021 season. Accordingly, if one or both men wreak havoc this season, they’ll register some Comeback Player of the Year attention.

For better or worse, those are really the only two men eligible for the award unless the Vikings sign a free agent this summer who didn’t play much in 2021.

Q: Why did the Vikings let Jayron Kearse go so soon? He seems like he’s good.

Julio Jones and Eric Wilson
Sep 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings safety Jayron Kearse (27) and linebacker Eric Wilson (50) and outside linebacker Ben Gedeon (42) during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Ludeman-USA TODAY Sports

A: Kearse graded a 76.8 from Pro Football Focus in 2021. He’s flat-out a good football player.

With the Vikings in 2019, he was arrested for DWI and illegal firearm possession. That is the only theory on why Minnesota made no serious push to retain his services.

Kearse will attempt to prove once again this season that he’s not a fluke down in Dallas.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).