Now that free agency, the NFL Draft and rookie minicamp are behind us, most teams have their 2018 rosters fairly set, save for the cut-down to 53-man rosters that will happen in three-plus months.
Looking at all 32 rosters as they currently stand, NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling recently ranked the top-10 best offenses and included Minnesota in his lineup. Wesseling wrote the following in his intro:
If the quarterback is running a truly dominant offense, he moves the chains with consistency in all situations, rather than requiring a strict formula for success. It’s no surprise that the list below reads like a who’s who of superstar quarterbacks, many enjoying a symbiotic relationship with a top-notch offensive mind dialing up the plays.
Wesseling assigned a letter grade to each position group within a team’s offense.
He ranked the Vikings offense at No. 9 overall and evaluated the position groups in the following manner, with Minnesota’s receiving corps – including tight ends – grading highest. (Note: Wesseling did not include every player in the position group)
*Quarterback: B | Kirk Cousins, Trevor Siemian, Kyle Sloter*
*Backfield: B | Dalvin Cook, Latavius Murray, Mack Brown, C.J. Ham*
*Receiving corps: A- | Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kendall Wright, Laquon Treadwell, Tavarres King, Kyle Rudolph (TE), David Morgan (TE), Tyler Conklin (TE)*
*Offensive line: B- | Riley Reiff, Nick Easton, Pat Elflein, Mike Remmers, Rashod Hill, Brian O’Neill, Danny Isidora, Tom Compton, Colby Gossett*
The NFC North made up three of Wesseling’s top 10, with the Packers and Lions coming in at No. 6 and No. 10, respectively.
Topping the list at Nos. 1-3 were the Saints, Patriots and Steelers.
Rookie free agent Craig James ready to do ‘anything that helps the team’
On Monday, the Vikings signed four undrafted free agents who impressed coaches as tryout players at last weekend’s rookie minicamp.
Among the four signees was cornerback Craig James, out of Southern Illinois. Matthew Kamp of *The Telegraph *caught up with James who, less than two weeks ago, “was working on an internship at Edwardsville High School” in Illinois.
“Honestly, the whole thing hasn’t really hit me yet. It’s unbelievable,” James told Kamp. “I’m grateful for the opportunity, but the situation hasn’t hit me yet.”
Kamp wrote the following of James, who had a Minnesota connection prior to signing with the Vikings:
After graduating from EHS in 2014, James played for the Minnesota Golden Gophers for two seasons before transferring to Southern Illinois Carbondale.
James was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team after leading the Salukis with nine pass break-ups and three interceptions [during the 2016-17 season]. He also had 30 tackles in nine games.
This past season, James had 37 tackles, 11 pass break-ups, two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 11 games.
“Anything they need me to do, I’ll do it,” James told Kamp. “Anything that helps the team, I’ll do it.”