Another round of list-a-mania is upon us, this time courtesy of the folks from NFL.com. Bucky Brooks has put together his list of the most talented rosters in the National Football League, and he has the Minnesota Vikings checking in at #5 overall.
Blue chips: Adrian Peterson, RB; Kyle Rudolph, TE; Linval Joseph, NT; Everson Griffen, DE; Anthony Barr, LB; Xavier Rhodes, CB; Harrison Smith, S.
Risers: Teddy Bridgewater, QB; Sharrif Floyd, DT; Eric Kendricks, LB.
The Vikings are built to be a heavyweight contender in the NFC for the next few seasons. Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer have assembled a championship-caliber roster that features a number of blue-chip talents with a blue-collar mentality at the marquee positions. On defense, the Vikings have a set of energetic pass rushers (Griffen and Barr) to complement a rock-solid defensive tackle adept at swallowing up blockers (Joseph). Smith is the NFL's best-kept secret between the hashes. The fifth-year pro is not only a wily ballhawk, but he delivers devastating blows to pass catchers venturing over the middle. With Rhodes showing promise as a CB1, the Vikings' defense can spearhead a Super Bowl push with little assistance from an offense that's led by the unstoppable Peterson.
You'll note that no other NFC North teams appear in the top ten, an assessment that's entirely accurate. The Vikings' #5 ranking puts them third in the NFC on Brooks' list, behind the Seattle Seahawks at #1 and the Carolina Panthers at #3.
And yet, some people apparently think this team is going to regress from last season. Still don't understand that.
This is quite the turnaround for the Vikings from where they were when Mike Zimmer took over after the 2013 season. Some of those players were already in place when Zimmer arrived in Minnesota, but he's really done a lot to take this team to the next level. Minnesota's youth, particularly on the defensive side of the football, is going to have this team in position to be contenders for a long time to come. If the offense can finally get caught up this season, 2016 is going to be a very good year for this team and their fans.