As we’ve established on several occasions, the offseason in the NFL is the time for ranking and rating things. In keeping with that, we have another listing that, correctly, identifies the Minnesota Vikings as a team with a great deal of talent.
Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports has ranked all of the “trios” in the NFL, and it has nothing to do with lucha libre. (Even though that would have been just as awesome.) No, he’s taken what he has deemed to be each team’s best quarterback-running back-wide receiver combination and ranked them from 1 to 32. The Vikings’ trio of Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, and Adam Thielen comes in at #5 in the league on Wilson’s list.
The Vikings let Case Keenum walk after an MVP-level season and replaced him with Cousins, who had a down 2017 campaign after ranking third in total value among all passers in 2016 behind Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. There’s every reason to believe he’ll be successful in Minnesota, where he’ll have a great defense and dynamic offensive playmakers. Cook returns after tearing his ACL (he averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 8.2 yards per catch in four games before the injury), and Thielen has emerged as a top-10 wide receiver. And if you prefer Stefon Diggs as the Vikes’ No. 1, he ranks ninth in total value.
We can debate all day whether or not Thielen or Diggs is the Vikings’ #1 wide receiver at this point. There are viable points to be made for each receiver, but Thielen did have significantly better numbers last season, so he got the nod from Wilson.
The four trios that ranked ahead of the Vikings’ group were as follows:
- Pittsburgh Steelers - Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown
- New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas
- Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks
- Atlanta Falcons - Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones
It’s tough to argue putting the Vikings ahead of any of those teams, in my opinion. We don’t know how Cooks is going to fit in with the Rams, but then we don’t know about Cousins here in Minnesota, either. In any case, #5 is a pretty respectable ranking.
The other NFC North teams came in at #11 (the Detroit Lions’ trio of Matthew Stafford, Kerryon Johnson, and Golden Tate), #14 (the Green Bay Packers’ group of Aaron Rodgers, Ty Montgomery, and Davante Adams), and #26 (the Chicago Bears’ collection of Mitchell Trubisky, Jordan Howard, and Allen Robinson).
What do you think of Wilson’s ranking of the Vikings’ “trio?”