Over at my blog I've put up the first of four articles in an attempt to come up with the Ultimate Power Ranking. This was totally inspired by Pete Prisco's lame attempt at a Pre-Season ranking. The original article is very lengthy and I'm not going to do a simple copy/paste job here. But I wanted to share it with you all, so here are the most relevant bits. Part 1 is a ranking of every offense in the NFL, part 2 will cover defense, part 3 is special teams, and finally part 4 puts it all together for the "Ultimate Power Ranking." First, the premise:
It is a Power Ranking of where the teams are as of this moment. Using the end-of-regular-season data from 2012, and taking into account free agency moves and the draft, this power ranking takes into account every team’s current depth chart, as posted on ESPN. And it assumes that players will basically perform the same way in 2013 that they did in 2012. I have ranked every single player listed on the depth charts, based on the positional rankings found on Football Outsiders that attempt to quantify a player’s "value" from the 2012 season. I then simply added up every player’s value relative to the rankings to come up with a total "team" number.
And since most of you probably only care about how the Vikings ended up on the list, here is the write-up I had for them:
25. Minnesota Vikings 436
I will freely admit that this might be the most underrated ranking on the list, and it’s not because I’m a biased fan. They have the #1 running back in Adrian Peterson and a good offensive line ranked #11. However, their QB Christian Ponder is in the bottom half of the league, ranked #21, and even more than that they have no go-to wide receiver. None of their options is ranked higher than #62 overall…and that ranking belongs to Jarius Wright, who is their third receiving option. Yes they traded Harvin to the Seahawks, but replacing him with Greg Jennings might be a bit of a gamble. If they get the 2012 Jennings, ranked #68 overall, this offense will sink. If they get the 2011 Jennings, ranked 11th overall, then this offense could rebound significantly. But, it also hinges on what they’ll get out of their second option Jerome Simpson. He ranked a paltry #88 overall last year. So, if both of those players can improve dramatically, this offense could easily leap-frog into the Top 10. Kyle Rudolph looked great in the Pro Bowl, but he completely disappeared in several regular season games and ended up ranked #24 overall. So there are still a lot of questions about this offense that will need to be answered. While there is a lot of potential, they have yet to show it.
Yes, I was not very kind to our beloved team. But the numbers speak for themselves. As I mentioned, if Greg Jennings can return to his 2011 form, that should sky-rocket our offense into the top half of the league. Likewise, if Ponder improves just a little, and Simpson relealizes his potential, we could be looking at a Top 10 offense. But sadly, none of that has come to pass yet. So, stuck at #24 they remain.
For reference, Green Bay's offense ranked #4, Detroit was ranked #11 and Chicago was ranked #19. Denver sports the #1 offense in the NFL while Arizona is the worst. Check out the full article link above for more details. I'll share parts 2-4 as I finish and post them.
UPDATE: I realized that my offensive line rankings were incomplete as they only considered run blocking. I have updated the entire rankings list to include pass blocking as well, and as you might expect, this lowers the Vikings 1 spot. The rankings don't change dramatically, but a few teams slide up or down a spot or two with this new info. The post above is updated with this new information.
update made on 6/8/13 10:30am CST