FanPost

2013 Minnesota Vikings Projections

Follow me on twitter @rickypackard3 for all your sports news and updates!

Check out my blog rickypackard.blogspot.com for all 31 other teams predictions and playoff projections!

Let's face it, if it wasnt for Adrian Peterson, this team would not have won 10 games. His relentless effort ran this team into the playoffs. Ponder has no more excuses though. The Vikings made some nice offseason moves bringing WR's Greg Jennings and WR Cordarelle Patterson.

Projected Record: 7-9 (3-3)

Projected Finish: 3rd in NFC North (miss playoffs)

Quarterbacks: In 26 career starts, Christian Ponder has thrown 25 interceptions. Consistency is the key for Ponder, as he enters his 3rd season as the Minnesota Vikings starting QB. If Ponder doesn’t produce this season, it's safe to say his job will be in jeopardy. The Vikings think so too as this offseason they brought in the former Chiefs starting QB, Matt Cassel, who should compete for a starting job in the preseason. Let's net forget about Joe Webb. Webb is one of the most athletic QB's in the NFL who started in the playoffs for the Vikings last year when Ponder was out to injury. Webb is not the most proficient passer in the league and it is unknown whether he will play QB or WR this season. McLeod Bethel-Thompson and undrafted rookie James Vandenberg will both compete for a #4 QB spot. I don't think Peterson will be able to carry the load again and Ponder will take some heat if the Vikings struggle this year. In other news, I do sorta have a crush Ponder's wife, ESPN reporter Samantha Ponder.

Grade: C-

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson. With his amazing comeback last season, Peterson has put himself in the running for best running back of all time (he'll never be better than my guy Barry though). His 2,097 rushing yards and 12 TD's single-handedly lead this Vikings team to a 10-6 regular season record. Toby Gerhart is Petersons backup. In 3 career seasons, Gerhart hasn’t nearly put up the numbers he once did in college but he has gotten the job done. Bradley Randle is an undrafted rookie from UNLV who has really impressed from what I've heard. Jerome Felton is a Pro Bowl fullback who helped AP or 'AD' to his 2,100 yard season last year. Matt Asiata and undrafted rookie Zach Line are 2 FB/HB hybrids who may be able to fight onto a roster with limited depth behind Peterson.

Grade: A+

Receiver's: The Vikings organization did a nice job in finding a replacement(s) for Percy Harvin who is now a Seahawk. They brought in Greg Jennings from Green Bay and drafted Tennessee wide receiver Cordarelle Patterson with their 1st round pick. Greg Jennings was one of the most sought after free agents this past spring. I don’t think many people expected that he would end up with Green Bay rival, Minnesota. Cordarelle Patterson is an exciting young receiver who at 6'2, 220 brings dynamic speed and should have an immediate impact. Jairus Wright and Jerome Simpson will both vie for the #3 wide receiver slot. Simpson had more catches but Wright had more TD's in '12. Greg Childs is a receiver who missed all of 2012 due to injury, but at 6'3, could potentially be a nice part to this receiving core. Rodney Smith is an undrafted WR from Florida State. He's another big target who has 105 catches over the past 3 years at FSU. Kyle Rudolph is one of the better TE's in the NFL who caught 9 TD's in '12. TE John Carlson is a former 2nd round pick who didn't do much last year, and might not make it out of camp.

Grade: B

Offensive Line: Matt Kalil is a 6'7, 300 pound lineman that anchors this line. Entering just his 2nd season, he was a big part to Adrian Peterson's brilliant season. Center John Sullivan is one of the most dominant centers in the league and tackle Phil Loadholt is entering the prime of his career. If this line can stay healthy, they could be one of the top groups in the league

Grade: B-

Defensive Line: At 31, Jared Allen's motor is still going hard. He lead this team, again, in sacks with 12 last year. On the other side of Allen, is Brian Robison who quietly had 8.5 sacks. Everson Griffen is listed as a defensive end but can line up inside or even as a blitzing linebacker. He had a monster season last year with 8 sacks and could be the future of this line. Kevin Williams is definitely the beef of this line at 6'5, 311 pounds. With age, Williams skill has deteriorated. The Vikings will look to Christian Ballard or rookie Sharrif Floyd to one day replace Williams. Ballard has been a bit of a disappointment in his 2 career seasons but is still good in the run-stop packages. Sharrif Floyd was drafted in the first round this year. Floyd was spectacular at Florida and I will be curious to see how his game translates. George Johnson, Lawrence Jackson, and Collins Ukwu are 3 DE's who are players to watch this preseason. Johnson is a former Rutgers star who spent '12 on the practice squad with Minnesota. Jackson is a free agent signee from Detroit who brings a unique set of skills and Ukwu is an undrafted rookie from Kentucky who is a pass-rusher that can play either DE or LB. Spencer Nealy is an undrafted rookie DT who was a key part of Texas A&M's 'dream team' last year.

Grade: B+

Linebackers: Chad Greenway has made the Pro Bowl the last 2 seasons with Minnesota and for good reason. His 148 tackles lead the Vikings last year. Audie Cole and Tyron McKenzie are 2 players who primarily stood out on special teams last year and will compete for more playing time in '13. Rookies Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges are graduates from the 'linebacker U' in Penn State. Like Greenway, Mauti and Hodges are tackling machines.

Grade: B-

Defensive Backs: CB Xavier Rhodes was one of Minnesota's 3 1st round draft picks. The corner from Florida State brings superior size and should immediately help this secondary. Chris Cook is a 4th year corner who is a very good player but can never seem to remain healthy. A couple of Notre Dame alums in Robert Blanton and Harrison Smith line up at safety. Smith lead the team in interceptions last year and Blanton will provide some good depth. CB Marcus Sherels is a player still sharpening his skills at corner but is a vital part of the Vikings return game. CB Greg McCoy will be a preseason player to keep an eye on. He was a 7th round pick to the Bears last year

Grade: C-

Buy: Cordarelle Patterson

Sell: Christian Ponder

On the Hot Seat: Christian Ponder

Breakout Player: Cordarelle Patterson

Follow me on twitter @rickypackard3 for all your sports news and updates!

Check out my blog rickypackard.blogspot.com for all 31 other teams predictions and playoff projections!

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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