Monday, May 16, 2022

Minnesota Vikings Post-Draft NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Minnesota Vikings rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 20.4 (21st)
  • Best ranking: 17 (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 23 (ESPN)

Below you will find a post-NFL Draft roundup for the Vikings in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 23

Player who benefited most from draft: FB C.J. Ham

Follow along here for a moment. The Vikings didn't draft a tight end until the seventh round (South Carolina's Nick Muse), despite a relative lack of depth behind presumptive starter Irv Smith Jr., who missed all of 2021 because of a knee injury. Why the lack of urgency? As it turns out, new coach Kevin O'Connell has plans to use the versatile Ham in two-back sets, and he can then be motioned into spots where a tight end would traditionally be used. The draft, in other words, proved the Vikings will remain among the few teams that will incorporate a fullback in their schemes. -- Kevin Seifert -- Rank: 23

Do the Vikings have regrets about how their first draft went with new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the controls? It's fair to wonder. Minnesota traded out of the No. 12 overall pick, passing on a potential generational talent at safety in Kyle Hamilton in order to land ... a different safety (Georgia standout Lewis Cine) with the 32nd pick. The team they did business with -- the division-rival Lions -- used that 12th selection to add a hugely promising wide receiver talent in Jameson Williams. The Vikings did add an extra third-round pick in the swap with Detroit, but second-guessing is easy with this one. Do the Vikings feel better now than they did at the end of a disappointing 2021 season?

CBS Sports -- Rank: 22

New coach Kevin O'Connell inherits a team that should be able roll up big numbers on offense. The question is the defense, but they will be better on that side than they were a year ago after spending a lot of draft capital on it.

USA Today -- Rank: 20

New GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has quietly but wisely upgraded a 30th-ranked defense since free agency opened, and it may be enough to row this franchise into a dark horse postseason berth.

The Athletic -- Rank: 20

The biggest change in the Vikings' building came immediately after the season, with the hiring of general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell. The roster returns largely unchanged, save for the addition of free-agent pass rusher Za'Darius Smith (who comes from rival Green Bay) and draft picks led by safety Lewis Cine. That means the outlook for 2022 depends on the same thing it has the last four years: How well will Kirk Cousins play?

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