Vikings Roster Gets Mediocre Ranking

Vikings Set Training Camp Schedule
Jul 28, 2022; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) talk during training camp at TCO Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings came into the 2023 offseason with a number of questions needing to be answered. Now, as we enter mid-May, the dust has settled. And with that, analysts have begun ranking teams’ rosters ahead of the start of training camp in a couple months.

One of these rankings comes from Dalton Wasserman and Jim Wyman of Pro Football Focus. On that list, the duo gave the Vikings roster a rather mediocre ranking, placing them 16th in the NFL. They are smacked in between the Jacksonville Jaguars at 15 and the Washington Commanders at 17 and listed as the sixth team in the NFC.

Dec 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) yells out before the snap during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

However, this is much more in-depth than a typical power ranking, so it is certainly worth checking out to get the full story. For each team, the duo listed biggest strength, weakness, X-factor, a rookie to watch, and gave an over/under win total prediction.

Unsurprisingly, the Vikings biggest strength is listed as the passing game. With Justin Jefferson getting ever-closer to that 2000-yard threshold as each season goes by, he should remain as prolific as ever in the Vikings offense during his fourth NFL season.

In addition, the Vikings added Jordan Addison in the first round of the 2023 Draft, adding yet another very talented pass-catcher to the group. The rookie is also listed as the Vikings draft pick to watch this season.

Vikings Draft Thermometer: WR Jordan Addison
Sep 24, 2022; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) makes a catch for a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers in the second half at Reser Stadium. The touchdown was the game winner as Trojans defeated Beavers 17-14. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

However, their main weakness in the eyes of Wasserman and Wyman should be of no surprise, either: pass coverage. The Vikings signed Byron Murphy in free agency in order to replace Patrick Peterson, but other than that, it’s a very unproven group in the secondary. Here’s what the duo had to say of the Vikings weakness:

The Vikings allowed the second-most passing yards in the NFL last season. Patrick Peterson and Duke Shelley were the only players on the team to play at least 200 coverage snaps and earn at least a 70.0 coverage grade. The Vikings’ deficiencies in coverage were eventually their undoing, as Daniel Jones played a terrific game against them in the playoffs. Minnesota has a ton of work to do to fix this unit, since the aforementioned Peterson and Shelley have since departed.

It is tough to truly project how much better the Vikings defense can be in 2023 because of the unknowns in the secondary, but with a Brian Flores defense in place, the hope is that he will be able to implement enough blitzes to take the pressure off the secondary. This could make up for any growing pains the group may go through.

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Sep 18, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrates after scoring on a 59-yard fumble recovery in overtime against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, though, despite calling the Vikings the 16th-best roster in the league, the two analysts believe that Minnesota will hit the over on 8.5 wins this season, saying:

Minnesota won’t win 13 games again. However, a team with Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson and Jordan Addison should still finish above .500. Their defense may be a huge liability. They likely need to finish 4-2 in the NFC North and at least 3-1 against the NFC South. Grind out a couple more wins after that, and you have nine — a reasonable expectation.

In all, this latest ranking tracks with many others this offseason. It seems most folks believe that the Vikings are a solid group in 2023, but they won’t be able to replicate the same regular season success as they had in 2022. We’ll see how things play out when the season officially begins.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.