Pre-Season Previews & Rankings: Team #26 - Minnesota Vikings

From the Bottom to the Top; 32 in 32
A look (and ranking) of each NFL team before we kick off the pre-season on August 9th.

#26 - Minnesota Vikings


Major Off Season Moves:

Drafted Matt Kalil (LT) - 4th overall
Drafted Harrison Smith (S) - 1st round
Drafted Josh Robinson (CB)
Signed Jerome Simpson (WR)
Signed John Carlson (TE)
Signed Chris Carr (CB)
Lost Steve Hutchinson (G)
Lost Visanthe Shiancoe (TE)
Lost Anthony Herrera (G)
Lost EJ Henderson (MLB)

Positives:

The main positive with this team; you can't get much worse. After finishing, a franchise worst (in a tie), 3-13, the Vikings really only have one way to go, up. Sure, they could go 0-16, 1-15, etc. but these team does have some talent. Jared Allen is coming off a 22 sack season, Antoine Winfield is coming back healthy, they have one of the best centers in football, John Sullivan, the best slot receiver, Percy Harvin, the best running back (although he's injured), Adrian Peterson and two first round picks, Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith. There is talent on this team, but it has yet to put itself together. Christian Ponder should have more time to throw behind a rebuilt offensive line. They brought in some extra offensive talent to help him out as well, with veteran Jerome Simpson and Minnesota bred, John Carlson. Adrian needs to be healthy in order for the offense to fully tick, but there is a chance for major improvement from last season to this season. Leslie Frazier is back for his second full season, and they brought in a new defensive coordinator, Alan Williams, to help get the once vaunted defense back to respectability.



Negatives:

Rookie Josh Robinson
For one thing, they play in the NFC North, which may be the best division in football right now. With six games against the Lions, Bears and Packers their schedule is tough, so for a young team that is not ideal. Also, they are coming off one of the worst secondary performances in league history. Even though the Vikings led the NFL in sacks (50) they still gave up the 2nd most points per game in the entire NFL (28.1/per game) and the 7th most pass yards per game. The Vikings tried to fix their horrible secondary by trading back into the first round to take Notre Dame safety, Harrison Smith, signing Chris Carr and keeping the maligned Chris Cook on the roster even though he was charged with choking his girlfriend. They also drafted speedster Josh Robinson from UCF. That gives them Cook, Winfield, Robinson, Carr and Smith at safety. A big time upgrade over last season, but still along ways to go. On top of a defensive that is in transition at defensive back and linebacker (Chad Greenway and Erin Henderson are only linebackers to return that played significant minutes in 2011), their best player is coming off a torn ACL and MCL and may not player until week 6. So there's that.

Recap:

The Vikings tried to upgrade their horrendous secondary and offense. The changes may not be franchise altering, but they will be upgrades from last years travesties. The Vikings really have no way to go but up and another year (or maybe two) of high draft picks should help them get back to pre-2011 days.



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