After countless hours of skinny knees, ice cream jokes, and daily mock drafts, I'm kind of starving for some talk about some real football. I don't know about you guys, but the pre draft hype is starting to kill me; I've been literally chain smoking nonstop since the moment the draft should've started if it wasn't pushed back two weeks. So, let's talk football... please.
Since the Zimmer hire, the few moments the pundits have talked about the Vikings have been spent saying "Zimmer won't be able to save the Viking's defense, because there isn't enough talent." Considering that these are the same people who believe that skinny knees and short arms are relevant in any sense, I'm starting to think that they might not know anything at all. I mean, The Vikings had relatively the same roster two seasons ago when the defense was ranked in the top half of the league. So I decided to challenge the idea that The Viking's defense doesn't have any talent.
The only way I could think of (not expert) to measure this was to organize the best statistical seasons of our most productive defensive players into one aesthetically pleasing table. Applying this to the upcoming season, however, does have some major flaws:
1. It assumes that Zimmer will Zim Zam every player into giving their peak performance.
2. It assumes that each player's peak has already been reached (Considering how young a lot of these players are, that would be really sad, statistically and existentially).
3. Players like Sharrif Floyd and Xavier Rhodes are positioned to have huge roles in the defense, but only have one season under their belt, so there's nothing to really compare there. (You'll see that Hodges and Mauti aren't on the table because their stats last season were just about nonexistent).
4. It assumes that everyone we draft one the defensive side next week will be a complete bust, or at least not have any impact next season.
But that being said, I don't believe it's completely pointless and does give some insight.
(The dates next to the players' indicate the year they had these statistics).
So for those who can't count, our hypothetical defense's total stats would come to:
Combined Tackles: 933
Passes Deflected: 74
Forced Fumbles: 10
For comparison's sake, I also made an equally aesthetically pleasing table for the 2013 Seahawks defense (Or at least the top 16 players; I wanted an equal number of players on both tables). I chose the Seahawks partly because they were the best defense in the league last season, and mostly because they're Vikings West.
Combined Tackles: 815
Passes Deflected: 74
Forced Fumbles: 15
Granted, I'm comparing a hypothetical defense against a very real once, (and I'm probably missing something that makes this completely worthless) but they compare very well. Straight statistics won't tell the whole story, and this in no way should be considered a prediction on how our defense will perform next season, but I do think it does give at least a little insight on the talent level we currently have.
Happy Football talk.