The Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings came in second last year after obtaining Kirk Cousins, quarterback, as one of their biggest acquisitions in recent memory. Sitting at 8-7-1, the Vikings seemed honed in on doing one thing, fixing their offensive line to give Cousins more protection and better blocking for their backs. They did have twelve picks in April but as already stated they spent three of their first four picks on linemen if you count tight end Irv Smith as a blocker.
The Vikings failed to make the playoffs in 2018 despite having the ninth ranked scoring defense in the NFL. The offense wasn’t nearly as prolific ranking nineteenth among the thirty-two teams; a big area of concern was the forty sacks that they gave up, which ranked just ahead of the Detroit Lions at fifteenth.
With their revamped line, the hopes of the Minnesota faithful largely rest on the arm of Cousins and improving offensive output in the run game. Dalvin Cook, their starting running back, played in eleven games but still only reached 615 yards rushing. For them to contend in 2019, they need to make strides up front on offense without losing anything defensively.
Their key signings included draftees center, Garrett Bradbury, tight end, Irv Smith, guard, Dru Samia, guard, Josh Kline, defensive tackle, Shamar Stephen, and re-signing linebacker, Anthony Barr. They lost standout defensive tackle, Sheldon Richardson, and backup runner, Latavius Murray, among a few others. In total, they pretty much stayed the same, too.
In short, they also didn’t have a banner offseason, either. Their roster is nearly the same with more young talent up front. As we know youth takes time to develop but it does give them potential to be a more dangerous team in 2019. Here’s a similar article from USA Today which echoes my sentiment that the Vikings need much better offensive production without losing much on defense if they hope to win the NFC North.