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NFL Power Rankings: Vikings Tough to Read Before Week 1

Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season is here, which means the return of checking on the Vikings status in NFL Power Rankings.

Minnesota endured some roster turnover this offseason, but is still anchored by a host of veteran playmakers on both sides of the ball.

The Vikings made a splashy move last week when they traded for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, a move that experts are lauding.

Minnesota, however, was a tough team for experts to read, as the Vikings ranked anywhere from seventh to 19th in their initial rankings.

Look back at photos through the years featuring games between the Vikings and Packers.

Here's a look at where the Vikings rank before Week 1:

No. 10: Dan Hanzus –

Kudos to General Manager Rick Spielman, who waited out the market and then pounced on Yannick Ngakoue, landing a young, proven pass rusher in a trade in which the Vikings didn't have to a) surrender a premium draft pick (a second- and conditional fifth-rounder went to Jacksonville) or b) pay Ngakoue at the salary he was slated to make under the franchise tag. Granted, that last part has almost nothing to do with Minnesota (Ngakoue was desperate to escape the Jags), but good on the Vikes for seizing on a huge opportunity to get better. Ngakoue — who has had at least eight sacks in each of his first four seasons — effectively replaces Everson Griffen and eliminates the most glaring flaw on the defense. Smart football teams do smart things.

No. 18: Frank Schwab – Yahoo! Sports

The trade for Yannick Ngakoue was a much-needed addition for the Vikings in an offseason that saw mostly departures. Danielle Hunter and Ngakoue give the Vikings a strong 1-2 pass rush duo.

No. 19: Pete Prisco – CBS Sports

They will have a new-look defense, which might be a good thing. The challenge will be fitting it all together. Kirk Cousins and the offense should be fine.

No. 7: NFL Staff – Bleacher Report

The Minnesota Vikings made a huge splash last week, swinging a trade with the Jaguars to pair edge-rusher Yannick Ngakoue with Danielle Hunter.

The Vikings also have a proven veteran quarterback in Kirk Cousins and skill-position weapons such as tailback Dalvin Cook, veteran wideout Adam Thielen and rookie first-round pick Justin Jefferson.

Minnesota has the ingredients for a deep playoff run. But a secondary that lost its top three cornerbacks in the offseason could derail that postseason trip.

No. 13: MMQB Staff – Sports Illustrated

The Vikings were another polarizing team in our rankings, coming in anywhere between sixth and 19th. We'll learn plenty from a Week 1 game against the Packers.

No. 9: Vinnie Iyer – Sporting News

The NFC champion long list also includes them. They lost some familiar defensive pieces for Mike Zimmer up front and in the secondary, but Yannick Ngakoue was a great late pickup, and complementary youth will serve them well. Offensively, they will get more highly efficient play from Kirk Cousins with Dalvin Cook and the running game setting the tone, not missing much of a beat without Stefon Diggs.

No. 14: Nate Davis – USA TODAY Sports

DE Yannick Ngakoue could be just the guy Minnesota needs given its pass rush may have to compensate for defense's young corners.

No. 13: Courtney Cronin –

While Minnesota lost a host of staples on defense this offseason, Mike Zimmer's unit is still backed by the likes of Harrison Smith, Anthony Harris, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter. These elite players will be tasked with bringing along a young group of cornerbacks and a handful of new faces on the defensive line while raising the level of play around them.

No. 12: Mike Florio – Pro Football Talk

Yannick Ngakoue gives the pass rush a boost. The question ultimately becomes whether the Vikings will be able to throw when they can't run.