Viking’s Offense Ready for 2021 Explosion

The Minnesota Viking’s offense has been mostly explosive the past few seasons. Say what you want about Kirk Cousins, but the man usually leads very successful offensive units. The Viking’s finished 4th in total yards in 2020, and also had the 11th ranked scoring offense. If it wasn’t for such a terrible defense, the Vikings would of had a much more fulfilling year last season. As we all know, this Vikings’ team is loaded with talent in all areas. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen continue to break ankles and live in the heads of opposing defenses. Irv Smith Jr. and Tyler Conklin are on the verge of forming the league’s most dangerous tight end duos. And Dalvin Cook is one of the most explosive play makers in the entire NFL.

Adding Tools to an Already Loaded Offense

Iowa’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette returns a 98-yard kickoff for a touchdown in the second quarter against USC during the Holiday Bowl on Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, at the SDCCU Stadium in San Diego, Calif. 20191227 Holidaybowl

With all the weapons the Vikings already employ, they weren’t satisfied with their current group of play makers, and the draft made it obvious.

The Vikings went on to two add speed at different position groups on the Vikings offense.

  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette has been toasting college defenders for the past few seasons. His 4.4 speed at his pro day doesn’t do justice for his game speed on the football field. Smith-Marsette has been taking tops off of defenses in the Big Ten for a long time, and he looks to continue that trend in the NFL.
  • Kene Nwangwu is another weapon that the Vikings selected on draft day. Nwangwu was never a full time player at Iowa State, but he has game breaking speed in the return game and out of the backfield.

This tidbit from Viking’s reporter Eric Smith says a lot about Nwangwu,

“Although he is listed at 210 pounds, Nwangwu was unofficially clocked at 4.29 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Iowa State’s Pro Day in March. Some measured the time at 4.31 seconds, which was the time mentioned by General Manager Rick Spielman during a media session. Iowa State also recorded him with a 37-inch vertical jump and 22 reps on the 225-pound bench press.”

Those measurables are insane for a play maker coming out of college, and should translate rampantly to the NFL. The hope is that the Vikings can use him in the return game and find unique ways to get him the ball in open space within the offense.

Two game-breaking weapons in Smith-Marsette and Nwangwu could be the formula to take this offense to the next level.

Making a Weakness, a Strength

Wyatt Davis and Chir

The Viking’s offensive line has been a laughing stock in the NFL for what seems like forever. Dakota Dozier and Dru Samia were arguably the worst offensive lineman in the entire league last season.

The Vikings finally made it a priority in this year’s draft to improve the trenches on the offensive side of the football. Rick Spielman made a masterful trade in the first round and was still able to land an outstanding left tackle in Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw. Darrisaw has the size and athleticism to be an anchor on the left side of the line for years to come. The Viking’s brass still wasn’t done with the offensive line, as they selected offensive guard Wyatt Davis out of Ohio St. in the 3rd round. Davis was injured and struggled in 2020, but has all the tools and ability to start day one for the Vikings.

The offensive line looks greatly improved and a lineup potentially could look something like this,

With everything the Vikings have done this off-season, it looks to be trending towards a HUGE year for this offense. With weapons surrounding Kirk Cousins, and an offensive line that will take a big leap. The Vikings might have one of the best units in the entire NFL.