It’s finally July! Or, at least, it will be by the time most of you read this. That means we’re mere weeks away from the start of Training Camp for the Minnesota Vikings, and it will be time to see whether or not all of the moves the team made this offseason will bear fruit. If the team is as good as the folks from Pro Football Focus seems to think they are, the answer to that question will be a positive one.
Behind the great E$PN paywall, the folks from PFF ranked all of the rosters in the NFL, and they have rated the purple as having the ninth-best roster in the entire league. I’m not going to give away the entire article because it’s behind the paywall and everything, but I do want to point out what they’ve determined to be the Vikings’ weakness.
Here’s a hint. . .it’s the same weakness this team has had for roughly a decade now.
Minnesota’s interior offensive line has collectively earned a 44.2 pass-blocking grade over the last three seasons. That’s nearly 10 points lower than the 31st-place Seahawks. Ezra Cleveland — who is expected to transition from right to left guard in 2021 — and Garrett Bradbury were both much more effective as run blockers than pass protectors in 2020. Rookie Wyatt Davis was drafted with the intention of helping in that department. But as we’ve seen in Minnesota over the past few seasons, relying on rookie offensive linemen doesn’t always lead to smooth sailing.
Tackle hasn’t been a problem for the offensive line over the last few years, with Brian O’Neill being solid since his rookie season and Riley Reiff giving way to rookie Christian Darrisaw for this season. But the interior has been a disaster. The Vikings want to run the ball, sure, but if Bradbury can’t get the pass protection thing figured out this year, the team is going to be looking for his replacement. Cleveland was decent enough in his first year, and I think Davis is going to be pretty good pretty quickly for this team, so hopefully the line as a whole can make a leap forward.
As far as the rest of the NFC North, PFF has Green Bay at #6 in the NFL in terms of the best roster, Chicago down at #23, and Detroit even below them at #31.
What do you think, folks? Do the Minnesota Vikings have one of the ten best rosters in the NFL?