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Lunchbreak: Vikings Earn 'B' Grade for Offseason From SI

Each passing day, the 2017 NFL offseason gets more and more in the rearview mirror as training camp and the regular season approaches.

Jonathan Jones of Sports Illustrated took one last look back at the Vikings offseason and gave the team a 'B' grade.

Jones said he liked what Minnesota did on offense after they chose not to pick up running back Adrian Peterson's option.

Minnesota loaded up at running back after Peterson's departure. The Vikings kept Jerick McKinnon, who led the team in rushing in 2016 with 539 yards, and they added Latavius Murray in free agency and Dalvin Cook in the draft.


View images of the Vikings 2017 rookies as they signed their contracts at Winter Park.


Jones noted that Cook could have an immediate impact on the Vikings, as could new tackles Riley Reiff and Mike Remmers.

Cook totaled 687 carries for 4,464 yards and 46 touchdowns while at Florida State. He also recorded 79 catches for 935 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Cook was a consistently great runner at Florida State where he made home-run plays with his shiftiness. His off-field concerns in the pre-draft process shouldn't affect his on-field play, but his previous injuries and lack of athleticism could. Cook has dealt with shoulder and hamstring injuries since college, and he performed poorly in the athletic testing at the combine. For those reasons, the third-best running back in the draft had to wait until the second day to be selected.

But Minnesota didn't want to wait too long on Cook. Sitting at No. 48, the Vikings traded with the Bengals to move to No. 41 and get Cook.



Vikings are on Evans' playoff radar

After going 11-5 and winning the NFC North in 2015, the Vikings missed out on the postseason last season after going 8-8.

Minnesota has been hard at work this offseason during Organized Team Activities to make sure it qualifies for the playoffs in 2017.

Heath Evans of thinks Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer will have his team focused and playing at a high level this upcoming season, as the former NFL fullback believes the Vikings will be on the playoff radar.

Evans explained his thoughts in a video posted on

"Zimmer was brought there to fix the defense and create an attitude in the old Black and Blue Division … he has created (that)," Evans said. "Last year, they fell off a bit but I believe he'll get that rectified."

Minnesota's defense ranked third in yards allowed per game (314.9) and sixth in points allowed per game (19.2) in 2016.

Evans also said the Vikings offense should benefit from another year with quarterback Sam Bradford.

Although Minnesota went 2-6 in November and December, Bradford played well as he had a 74.4 completion percentage (235 of 316 attempts). He threw for 2,185 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions.

"In November and December, (he had a) 3 for 1 touchdown-to-interception (ratio)," Evans said. "He set an all-time NFL record for pass completion percentage last year (with 71.6).

"This team just fell apart because of injuries," Evans added. "(Bradford) got it done and he got a lot better."

Minnesota used eight different starting combinations along the offensive line and had 12 different linemen see action, including five at left tackle.

Evans noted that if the Vikings stay healthy up front, they should be in contention for the postseason. 

"I expect a healthy offensive line," Evans said. "And with another year under Zimmer, they're going to get this thing right.

"I think they're going to shock a lot of people," Evans added.

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