Vikings mailbag heading into week 1

Week one is finally here! The Minnesota Vikings are set to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon

All throughout the week, we have spent time previewing every angle of the first game of the 2023 season and we took it to another angle by asking the fans about the season.

What do they want to know about this season’s Vikings team? We answered questions from eight fans as we head into week one.

Who takes a big step?

I think Ed Ingram takes a big step. Yes, he allowed a league-high 63 pressures last season, but the Vikings allowed him to learn on the fly. That kind of experience is invaluable to growing in the league. Reps are incredibly meaningful and having 1,225 snaps to watch will make a big difference.

Players to watch that I would like the Vikings to realistically draft:

  • QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

  • WR Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky

  • DT Kris Jenkins, Michigan

Contract structure

With general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, we don’t have a great feel on how he will structure extensions moving forward. The format for the T.J. Hockenson extension felt pretty standard but how they maneuver with Justin Jefferson’s is going to be something that really gives us an idea on what that will look like.

Addison is someone that I don’t think will make an impact at all because a superstar rookie won’t change Jefferson being the best wide receiver in the league and getting paid.

Cornerback and scheme

Could the cornerbacks be an issue? Absolutely! Outside of Byron Murphy Jr., the Vikings don’t have much experience with their other four cornerbacks having less than 350 snaps combined.

The safeties and scheme will make a big impact in helping out the cornerbacks. From scheming up pressures to multiple three-safety and big nickel looks, this defense is going to be significantly different and improved from 2022.

Questions about Andrew Booth Jr.

The injuries and fact that he is still stuck at CB4 despite being healthy during training camp and the preseason. That’s not what you want to see from a player with CB1 potential!

Now, not all hope is lost with Booth. He is still only 22 years old and is a talented player who should thrive in this scheme. Booth’s ability to click-and-close is elite but honing that aggressiveness is something that needs work. It’s the main reason why he is CB4 right now.

Justin Jefferson's contract

That’s a really complicated question to answer. It can be a myriad of reasons why the contract hasn’t gotten done. Jefferson spoke to the media today and laid out the discussions with his contract, especially when you consider it’s uniqueness.

“I’m in a different situation,” Jefferson said. “I’ve done something that no one has ever done in the history of the game. So my situation is a little bit different than everyone else’s. Of course, I’m going into my fourth year, trying to talk about contract two years early. There’s so many different parts that go in towards it. That’s why I leave it up to my agent and just keep my mindset on the field.”

Fantasy football

This is an interesting point. The defense will be getting a lot of pressure and creating havoc, which in turn can lead to sacks and turnovers. I would be cautious with the Vikings defense after week one, as Jalen Hurts, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes are in the next four weeks. That could make them relatively useless in that stretch. Be prepared to stream other defenses, but they should be in a good spot against weaker offenses.

Draft two quarterbacks?

The idea of drafting more than one quarterback actually involves Kirk Cousins. The Washington Commanders took Robert Griffin III at second overall and Cousins at the very top of the fourth round. It paid off for them when Griffin got hurt and Cousins became their long-term starting quarterback.

I don’t think it’s the best strategy for this Vikings team, mainly because they just took Jaren Hall this past April. I think by having both of them it would give the Vikings exactly what you are looking for.

Improvement from Ed Ingram?

I’m actually bullish on Ed Ingram this season. As I wrote earlier, 63 pressures allowed in 1,225 snaps is really poor. However, allowing him to learn on the fly and through failure is important to growth. One of my bold predictions this year was Ingram cutting his pressures in half, which would be 31-32.

The Real Forno Show

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire