After bottoming out in 2011, the Minnesota Vikings have accumulated a lot of talent over the past couple of seasons. The team is now relatively strong at a lot of positions, but we're wondering which one will be the cornerstone of the team for the 2013 season. We have a few candidates for your consideration.
Running back - Obviously, any position where a team fields the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player is going to be a strength, and Adrian Peterson is clearly the best back in the game at this point. Personally, I still feel that there are a decent number of teams in this league that Toby Gerhart could start for, and since he's in his contract year. . .yes, this is Gerhart's fourth year as a Minnesota Viking. . .he will have even more incentive to showcase his skills in the limited opportunities he will get in 2013.
Offensive line - While Peterson is amazing, at least a portion of his success needs to be credited to the offensive line as well. This team has (arguably) the best center in the National Football League in John Sullivan, and a pair of outstanding bookend tackles in Matt Kalil and Phil Loadholt. As all five starters along the front return for this team, their chemistry can't be overlooked, either.
Defensive line - The hallmark of the Vikings has been a strong defensive line for most of their history, and this year's team is no exception. Kevin Williams is still a significant force in the middle, and this year he'll be both a tutor and a partner with rookie Sharrif Floyd, who appears to be the real deal. Jared Allen and Brian Robison make up a solid pair of defensive ends to complement them. They also have solid depth at both spots with tackle Fred Evans and end/tackle/linebacker/athletic freak Everson Griffen.
Special teams - We know that Blair Walsh is pretty darn good, and Jeff Locke was drafted where he was for a reason (sorry, Mark). In the return game, rookie Cordarrelle Patterson appears to be the real deal in the return game, and Marcus Sherels is a steady, if unspectacular, option on punt returns. This unit has shown marked improvement under coach Mike Priefer's leadership.
So, ladies and gentlemen, what do you think will be the Vikings' strength in 2013?