Where Do The Vikings Stand in SI's Pre-Draft NFL Power Rankings?
Sports Illustrated NFL writer Jenny Vrentas released her pre-draft power rankings on Wednesday. Even though there's no way of knowing when football will return – or in what form – the league has continued forward with its offseason schedule, so these rankings operate under the assumption that there will be an NFL season this fall, Vrentas wrote.
Will there be football in 2020? Should we be doing power rankings without knowing the answer? These are very real questions. Of course, with the NFL having plowed through free agency, and barreling ahead toward the NFL draft, teams are acquiring players and shaping rosters as if there will be a season this year. So today, we are sharing our post-free agency, pre-draft, mid-quarantine power ranking. If nothing else, it’s fodder for discussion as you scroll through Amazon wondering when, if ever, Clorox wipes will come back in stock.
The Vikings, after an offseason featuring more notable departures than additions, check in at No. 14 in the rankings. That's a solid dropoff over the past two months, as most post-Super Bowl power rankings had Minnesota firmly in the top ten.
As things stand heading into the draft, 14th feels just about right for a Vikings team that has lost Stefon Diggs, Everson Griffen, Mackensie Alexander, and other important players. They still have enough big-name talent to warrant a spot in the upper half of the league, but there are too many holes on the roster right now to keep the Vikings in the top ten. If those holes can be filled with emerging young players, instant-impact rookies, or veteran free agents, the Vikings could easily out-perform this current ranking. However, that's not something that can be counted on at the moment.
Here's what Vrentas wrote about the Vikings in explaining their position in the rankings:
They extended Kirk Cousins, but the identity of the Vikings under Mike Zimmer has been their defense, and there were extensive losses on that side of the ball this offseason. The Vikings’ top three corners are now gone, as well as Everson Griffen and Stephen Weatherly on the defensive line.
The Vikings' ranking still places them second among NFC North teams behind only the Packers (No. 5) and firmly ahead of the Bears (No. 23) and the Lions (No. 28).
The Vikings are ranked seventh among all NFC teams, trailing last year's top contenders, as well as the Eagles, Cowboys, and Tom Brady's Buccaneers.
Join the conversation at InsideTheVikings by clicking the follow button in the upper right-hand corner of this page, and follow @WillRagatz on Twitter.