Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Minnesota Vikings Post-Draft 2023 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a post-draft roundup for the Minnesota Vikings in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

Most improved: Defensive coordinator

The Vikings upgraded by hiring Brian Flores to replace Ed Donatell as their defensive coordinator. After playing a passive and soft scheme in 2022, resulting in the second-most yardage allowed per game (388.7), they'll shift to a more aggressive, playmaking stance under Flores. Their success will hinge on whether a number of second-year players -- including linebacker Brian Asamoah, along with cornerbacks Andrew Booth and Akayleb Evans -- can adjust to prominent roles. But the scheme and playcalling will be more reliable. -- Rank: 16

A lack of consistency on the offensive line has held the Steelers back since the end of the Ben Roethlisberger era. Perhaps the team's decision to trade up in the first round to secure Georgia offensive tackle Broderick Jones at 14th overall will be remembered as the start of a new era of success in the trenches. This is all part of a pattern in recent seasons, as Pittsburgh continues to use the top of its draft board to build a foundation for the offense. In 2021, it was running back Najee Harris; last year, it was Kenny Pickett; and now, a blind-side blocker for the young quarterback. The goal is to develop and contend at the same time.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 17

They were a playoff team last year, but the defense was bad. The change to go to Brian Flores as the coordinator will be a good one. They will be much more aggressive, which is needed.

USA Today -- Rank: 16

Will RB Dalvin Cook remain? Is last season's second-worst defense any better? Is QB Kirk Cousins a lame duck? Feels like a serious regression to the mean is coming.

The Athletic -- Rank: 16

Draft takeaway: After supposedly toying with the idea of drafting Kirk Cousins' heir apparent, the Vikings stayed the course and continued sailing with the Vanilla Viper. First-round pick Jordan Addison gives the offense some new firepower, and Dalvin Cook is still here.

Hype man: Everyone's ready to anoint the Lions as NFC North favorites, but they didn't account for us having a mole in their facility monitoring their BetMGM apps. Don't think we don't have people in Green Bay and Lake Forest, too.

Dalvin Downer: You know we had a negative point differential last year, right? Daniel Jones cooked us at home. We only get two months of nice weather. What's the point?

PFF -- Rank: 14

In free agency, the Vikings added tight end Josh Oliver, who has been injury prone but is a promising signing nonetheless. They also signed an elite edge defender in Marcus Davenport.

Minnesota finished 2022 with a 78.4 team coverage grade, ranking 18th in the NFL. With Patrick Peterson, Cameron Dantzler, Duke Shelley and Chandon Sullivan moving on in free agency, they need more depth at cornerback. Their newest cornerback, rookie Mekhi Blackmon, may make an immediate impact. Blackmon played 907 snaps from which he produced a 90.6 PFF grade and allowed a catch on just 47.6% of the passes thrown into his coverage. He missed only two tackles in 2022.

PFT -- Rank: 14

The league's 31st-ranked defense has lost Dalvin Tomlinson, Eric Kendricks and Patrick Peterson already, and edge Za'Darius Smith badly wants out. The Vikings can score, but they can score consistently in the low thirties, which they may have to do to contend?

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