EAGAN, Minn. — Training camps are continuing across the league as most teams are gearing up for their 2023 preseason debuts.
Pro Football Focus ranked all 32 rosters, detailing each team's strengths, weaknesses, rookies to watch and more. The Vikings placed directly in the middle, landing at No. 16.
PFF named cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. as the team's "X-Factor" noting, "the former Arizona Cardinal looks to bring some stability to a Minnesota secondary that desperately needs it. Murphy posted a career-high 66.7 overall grade last season before missing the last nine weeks with a back injury. If healthy, he is a good fit for a zone-heavy defense that needs a leader on the back end."
To no surprise, Jordan Addison was named the team's rookie to watch. Pro Football Focus called Addison "an excellent route runner with the versatility to play inside or outside. A Rookie of the Year-type season would decrease the number of double teams on Jefferson and make Minnesota's offense very dangerous."
With the Vikings over-under win total set at 8.5 games, Pro Football Focus projected Minnesota to surpass that mark.
Also included in the story: The Lions have the highest-ranked roster among NFC North teams, landing two spots ahead of the Vikings at 14th.
Five of the Vikings 2023 opponents earned Top 10 rankings. The Eagles (No. 1), 49ers (No. 2), Bengals (No. 3), Chiefs (No. 4), and Chargers (No. 9) highlight the Vikings challenging schedule.
Click here to read PFF's full breakdown.
ESPN re-drafts first two rounds of 2018 NFL Draft
The Vikings made eight selections during the 2018 NFL Draft. In the first round, Minnesota took cornerback Mike Hughes at No. 30. Then, 32 picks later, the team picked tackle Brian O'Neill.
ESPN draft experts Jordan Reid and Matt Miller re-drafted the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. Their exercise saw O'Neill go No. 23 overall to the Patriots, proving Minnesota found a gem by landing the veteran tackle late in the second round.
O'Neill … has become the draft strategy blueprint for taking chances on upside at offensive tackle. He originally played tight end at Pitt but transitioned to tackle and quickly unlocked the next stages of his development. Originally a late Round 2 pick, he's an easy first-round selection in this re-draft and has continued to get better each season.
At 30, ESPN had the Vikings select wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Here is the reason why:
The Vikings have done a masterful job of drafting wide receivers (Stefon Diggs and Justin Jefferson), but having the opportunity to land an elite route runner in 2018 would have put this offense over the top. Not just then but also now. Ridley did miss a season-and-a-half due to suspension, but Minnesota could have boasted the league's best wide receiver room with him on the roster. In his first three years in the NFL, Ridley averaged over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns per season.
Former Vikings receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen combined for 2,394 and 18 touchdowns in 2018. Adding Ridley to the Vikings offense is an interesting what-if.
Click here to read the rest of ESPN's 2018 re-draft.