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Not everyone is impressed with the many moves first-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has made for the Minnesota Vikings—at least not enough yet to put them in the top-16 of ESPN’s recently released NFL roster rankings.
They landed at No. 19 in the rankings compiled by Ben Linsey on Wednesday.
That number might upset some Vikings fans, who are probably feeling like it’s Christmas Eve right about now. The regular season is creeping closer, and the team has made significant additions to the roster with an entirely new regime and coaching staff, along with an exciting mix of new veteran and rookie players.
This is being approached as a win-now season, and fans are eager to see if the team can legitimately turn things around.
But Linsey also makes some fair points in regards to some of the offensive line concerns. He mentioned a lot of “what-ifs” coming from the same unit that ranked 27th in pass-blocking by Pro Football Focus last season.
“As has been the case for several years now, it’s hard to feel all that confident about Minnesota’s offensive line heading into the 2022 season. It finished last season ranked 27th as a unit in PFF pass-blocking grade, and it is expected to return the majority of that group.”
Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill have the tackle positions locked up for the Vikings. And Ezra Cleveland did well enough at left guard to be trusted on the field.
The biggest issues for the Vikings have been at right guard and center.
They went out and selected former LSU Tiger Ed Ingram in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft to compete with the likes of Chris Reed and Jesse Davis for the starting job at right guard, which was previously held by Oli Udoh in 2021.
Meanwhile, things are expected to remain the same at center with former first-round draft pick Garrett Bradbury manning the position. The team desperately needs him to take a step forward when entering a contract year after having his fifth-year option declined in the offseason. There are also serious questions on the defensive side of the ball as well.
For the Vikings, it’s going to be more of a wait-and-see approach from some considering they’ve failed to make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, and they’ve essentially hit the reboot button in 2022.
But make no mistake, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single team in the league right now better-equipped to prove the critics wrong.