ESPN's Ultimate Depth Chart

First thing's first. . .see the poll over there on the right about who's going to be the Vikings' leading receiver this year in terms of yardage?  I realize that there's an option for "other" and everything. . .but, just out of complete curiosity, who are you couple of people that have actually voted for "Other" voting for?  Jim Kleinsasser?  Aaron Hosack?  Ahmad Rashad?

Shoot, I thought including Billy McMullen in the poll was a stretch. . .I didn't think there were any legitimate candidates that I had actually forgotten. Sadly, more people have voted for "Other" than have voted for ol' Wilbur. Maybe we should have kept Hank Baskett after all.

Anyway, speaking of receivers (and every other position), ESPN has spent the last couple of weeks doing their "Ultimate Depth Chart," which ranks all 32 NFL teams in 5 different categories to determine a sort of pre-season power ranking.  Here's how the Vikings rated in each category, as well as how our NFC North competition was rated.

Quarterbacks

15. Packers
20. Vikings
23. Bears
24. Lions

Running Backs

16. Vikings
17. Bears
29. Lions
30. Packers

Pass Catchers

19. Vikings
24. Lions
26. Packers
29. Bears

Pass Defense

3. Bears
17. Vikings
25. Packers
30. Lions

Run Defense

5. Bears
17. Vikings
26. Packers
30. Lions

Overall

17. Bears
20. Vikings
27. Packers
31. Lions

Yes, the folks at ESPN believe that, literally, half of the teams in the entire National Football League are better than ANY team from the NFC North.  I mean, it's like we're not even there.

I can't really disagree with many of their rankings, as far as the Vikings are concerned.  Should Brad Johnson happen to go down, our QB ranking will drop to about #33, because at that point I believe the University of Southern California will have a more intimidating QB depth chart than we do.  Mike McMahon was the best we could do as a backup?  Seriously?  I'm guessing that the Vikings will be the main target of Len Pasquarelli's first "Jeff George is still available" article of the 2006 season.

Running back?  Still unproven. . .we don't know if Chester Taylor can handle the load for an entire season.  We DO know that Mewelde Moore's ankles are made entirely of Jell-o pudding, and we DO know that Ciatrick Fason is NOT a goal-line back.

Pass catchers?  If K-Rob is finally focused 100% on football, then this group can be better as well.  Wiggins is really underrated, even if he hardly reached the end zone last year.

I think both parts of the defense have the potential to be light years better than they were in '05 if they can grasp the scheme quickly enough.  I wish we knew who the heck was going to play MLB.  Personally, I think Nap Harris is going to end up getting the job, with Greenway and either Leber or Henderson on the outside.

I'm surprised they didn't rank offensive lines in this whole thing.  That's one category I know the Vikings would have ranked highly in.

What do you think of ESPN's Ultimate Depth Charts and/or the Vikings' placement on it?  Let your voice be heard!

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