Vikings Fetch Mind-Boggling Good Ranking from ESPN

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The Minnesota Vikings have no problem with the existing playmakers on their roster.

Vikings Fetch Mind-Boggling Good Ranking from ESPN

That’s the word from ESPN this week, as Bill Barnwell ranked each NFL team’s offensive weapon stable, including wide receivers, running backs, and tight end. The Vikings checked in at No. 5 leaguewide, a mind-boggling good ranking for a team expected to win only about seven games.

justin jefferson pounds
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“We finally found something capable of stopping Justin Jefferson last season: his hamstring. The injury cost Jefferson seven games, and the star wideout left his return game after 13 snaps with a chest ailment,” Barnwell wrote about Jefferson. “On the field, he was every bit as devastating as previous seasons, and at 25, there’s little reason to think the hamstring will continue to bother him in the years to come. He projects as the best wide receiver in football in 2024 independent of his quarterback play.”

Jefferson still tabulated over 1,000 yards in 2024 despite missing seven games due to injury. If one assumes a clean bill of health in 2024, the phenom playmaker can return to his pursuit of 2,000 receiving yards in a season.

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About Jefferson’s running mate Jordan Addison, Barnwell explained, “There’s room for a second-year leap for Jordan Addison, who was more solid than spectacular as a rookie. He caught 10 touchdown passes, but his 1.6 yards per route run firmly placed him in WR2 territory. There was no significant drop off between Addison’s yardage production with and without Jefferson on the field, but unsurprisingly, his target rate grew from 16% with Jefferson on the field to nearly 23% without Jefferson in the lineup.”

Some forecast a sophomore slump for Addison because Kirk Cousins left the team, but with no clear-cut WR3 and tight T.J. Hockenson likely missing time to start the season, the football has to go somewhere, and Addison is an outstanding recipient.

Justin Jefferson Weighs in
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“They are high-upside players when they’re on the field, but Hockenson will likely start the season on PUP, and Jones has one complete season in his past four tries. If the Vikings could get 17 games out of their top four playmakers, they would be No. 1 in these rankings. Starting with something close to a half-season from Hockenson limits their ceiling,” Barnwell concluded about Hockenson and Jones.

Jones joined the Vikings’ roster after the Green Bay Packers signed Josh Jacobs. The ex-Packer finished the 2023 campaign on an absolute heater, so Minnesota is banking on a 2024 continuation, though Jones will turn 30 in December.

Aaron Jones, Jonathan Greenard, Jordan Addison and Cam Bynum spoke with reporters after mandatory minicamp on Wednesday, June 5th, 2024, at TCO Performance Center. The Vikings signed Jones during the 2024 free agency period, a replacement for Alexander Mattison, who joined the Las Vegas Raiders roster.

Ahead of Minnesota in Barnwell’s WR-RB-TE rankings? The San Francisco 49ers led the way, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, and Houston Texans.

The Vikings’ regular season is 60 days away.

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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