Reveals Vikings Post-Draft Power Ranking

Jefferson Trade Is More
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The Minnesota Vikings were pegged as an 8.5-win team before the 2023 NFL Draft — and exited the event in the same atmosphere.

Various batches of power rankings were released after the draft, and plopped the Vikings in their same pre-draft spot, right smack dab in the middle of the pack at No. 16. Reveals Vikings Post-Draft Power Ranking

That’s the way it goes — evidently — for a team with a 13-4 record a season ago but an upside-down point differential. Indeed, the Vikings won the NFC North for the first time since 2017 while getting outscored by opponents to the tune of three points.

Reveals Vikings Post
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Dan Hanzus from fired up post-draft power rankings and explained the Vikings middling placement, “All the smoke connecting the Vikings to an aggressive move up the draft board to select a quarterback proved to be just that … smoke, drifting into the atmosphere and dissolving into nothingness. Kirk Cousins will remain the unquestioned starter in 2023 and perhaps beyond, even if Minnesota did invest a fifth-round pick in BYU QB Jaren Hall.”

Minnesota added these players in the draft:

  • R1: Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
  • R3: Mekhi Blackmon (CB, USC)
  • R4: Jay Ward (S, LSU)
  • R5: Jaquelin Roy (DT, LSU)
  • R5: Jaren Hall (QB, BYU)
  • R7: DeWayne McBride (RB, UAB)
draft grades
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Hanzus concluded, “The Vikings did Cousins multiple favors, actually. The team used its first-round pick (23rd overall) on USC wide receiver Jordan Addison. With Adam Thielen now set to catch passes from Bryce Young in Charlotte, the decision to bring a new WR2 to Minnesota served as one of the most sensible moves of the first round by any team.”

Minnesota added seven newcomer free agents in March and April, including Josh Oliver (TE, Ravens), Marcus Davenport (EDGE, Saints), Byron Murphy (CB, Cardinals), Dean Lowry (DT, Packers), Brandon Powell (WR, Rams), Troy Reeder (LB, Chargers), and Joejuan Williams (CB, Patriots). Six men arrived from the 2023 NFL Draft, plus another 15 undrafted free agents.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, a 2nd-Round draft pick. He was welcomed to the Vikings from free agency in March 2023.

On the other hand, nine veterans left, including Cameron Dantzler (CB, Commanders), Eric Kendricks (LB, Chargers), Patrick Peterson (CB, Steelers), Adam Thielen (WR, Panthers), Dalvin Tomlinson (DT, Browns), Duke Shelley (CB, Raiders), Irv Smith (TE, Bengals), Kris Boyd (CB, Cardinals), and Chandon Sullivan (Steelers).

Therefore, the Vikings will bank on introducing Brian Flores as defensive coordinator to cleanse many 2022 sins. The roster became cheaper, leaner, faster, and younger as a part of general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s plan, but Flores is tasked with fixing the defense, almost single-handedly.

And according to, that should be good enough for a 10-7 or 9-8 record.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by