The 3 Strongest Roster Spots for 2023 Vikings

Hockenson Contract
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) celebrates his touchdown against the New England Patriots during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings are expected to land in second place inside the NFC North this season, characterized by oddsmakers and NFL pundits as subordinate to the Detroit Lions.

We’ll find out if that’s true in the next six months,

The 3 Strongest Roster Spots for 2023 Vikings

Yesterday, we outlined the Vikings four weakest links. Those can be read here. One will quickly find that the Vikings offense showcases more strengths than the defense, an unsurprising circumstance with Kevin O’Connell in charge. Former offensive coordinators grow accustomed to a certain way of living.

So, these are the roster strengths. They’re ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = strongest).

3. Wide Receiver

The 3 Strongest
Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; USC wide receiver Jordan Addison reacts after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings twenty-third overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. | Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on during warmups before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Don’t get it twisted — Jordan Addison still has to show up at training camp, and then in the regular season, and prove his 1st-Round worth. We’re not crowning him yet.

However, if one assumes he’s not Laquon Treadwell, well, then the Vikings are set up to become ultra-rich at WR. K.J. Osborn is a blossoming WR2, and Jalen Nailor looked incredibly promising late in 2022.

And that’s all on top of employing the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year, Justin Jefferson.

Mainly because Jefferson plays for the Vikings — with side dishes of Addison and Osborn — Minnesota is in wonderful shape at wide receiver.

2. Tight End

So, about That Hockenson Revenge Game..
Dec 4, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) makes a catch while New York Jets linebacker Kwon Alexander (9) defends during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Hockenson, by himself, is enough to nudge the Vikings near the league’s upper crust for TE talent. But then general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah added free agent Josh Oliver from the Baltimore Ravens in March. Oliver could probably serve as a TE1 on a few NFL teams.

Take out a pencil and evaluate the league’s top TE twosomes by team. We’re willing to bet the Vikings pair would land in the Top 5 or Top 10.

One year ago, Irv Smith Jr. and Johnny Mundt would not have moved the needle like this. Growth.

1. Offensive Tackle

Christian Darrisaw Is
Nov 28, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) after the loss against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports.

Somehow, Vikings fans blinked and ended up with one of the NFL’s very best offensive tackle combinations. Not long ago, we were pretending like Riley Reiff and Rashod Hill were a formidable combo heading into the 2018 season.

Indeed, Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill are the real deal. Through what feels like an act of God or mini-miracle, Minnesota has secured bookends on the offensive line.

Assuming Darrisaw and O’Neill remain healthy, few NFL teams can tout OT superiority over the Vikings.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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