Evan Silva writes for Rotoworld, and I'll be the first to admit that I like his stuff. At the end of the season, he had the Vikings as one of the five worst teams in football in terms of roster talent, and quite frankly, it was hard to argue against that. The defense was putrid, the quarterback situation a mess, and the Vikings needed an infusion of talent up and down the roster.
With what many people consider a fantastic off-season in both free agency and the draft, the Vikings definitely upgraded the roster to at least the middle of the pack, right?
Not according to Silva:
But why? Well, I'll let him explain himself:
Hmmm...okay then. I'm sorry, but I just can't buy the fact that after free agency and the draft, which saw the Vikings get at least two first round picks for the third consecutive year, they have a bottom five roster.
Now, I appreciate the fact that Silva values a premier pass rusher and franchise quarterback, and the Vikings have neither, at least proven. I think Teddy Bridgewater can be a franchise quarterback, but he hasn't thrown a real NFL pass yet. To say Matt Cassel is a franchise quarterback is just ridiculous, but he is an upgrade over last year. An upgrade to the point that the Vikings are now about league average in terms of passing, at least if you were to extrapolate Cassel's statistics into a full season.
As to defense, once again Silva is correct in that the Vikings have no franchise pass rusher. But you can make an argument that even with the departure of an aging Jared Allen, the Vikings got better at every position on the defensive line that had personnel turnover. An aging Kevin Williams and a terrible Letroy Guion are out. In are Linval Joseph and 2013 first round draft pick Shariff Floyd. Everson Griffen will replace Allen, and the Vikings also signed Corey Wootton to rotate in at defensive end.
When you take into consideration some other signings, like CB Captain Munnerlyn, and the tantalizing potential of other draft picks like Scott Crichton and Anthony Barr, you get the feeling that the Vikings have dramatically upgraded their roster, at least on paper.
I'll fully concede the point that the talent has to translate on to the field, but how do you feel about this roster now compared to, oh say, last October?
There's just no way it's a bottom five roster anymore. No way.