NFL power rankings after the draft: Vikings in the league’s second half heading into 2022

New Vikings, like the ancient Vikings?

That’s the feeling National writers seem to have about Minnesota heading into the 2022 season. And it’s not exactly unwarranted. Despite the arrival of a new head coach and general manager and several major additions, this roster still has the same shape and feel due to the extension of Kirk Cousins.

The Vikings are betting on maintaining the health of some key players, on new high-impact players and, above all, on a new coaching staff that takes more advantage of the current core. It could work. But judging by four post-draft power ranking articles, it doesn’t seem like domestic expectations for the Vikings are that high right now.

Here’s where Minnesota is ranked and why:

Bleacher Report Staff: #22

The Minnesota Vikings just can’t (or won’t) leave Kirk Cousins. There’s a new head coach in Minnesota this year in Kevin O’Connell. A new general manager at Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. But the same old average quarterback, after the Vikings decided to extend Cousins again.

We can talk about free agent signings like linebacker Jordan Hicks and rusher Za’Darius Smith. Or about a draft class led by safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. — an indispensable duo to improve a leaky Minnesota passing defense. But in the most important respect, the Vikings of 2022 are not so different from the Vikings of 2021. Or the Vikings 2020.

This team will go as far as Cousins ​​takes them. And that probably means not bad enough for a top-five draft pick, but not good enough for the NFC North Championship.

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Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: No. 20

New coach Kevin O’Connell inherits a team that should be capable of racking up big numbers on offense. The question is defense, but they will be better on that end than they were a year ago after spending a lot of draft capital on it.

Nate Davis, USA Today: No. 17

New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has quietly but wisely improved a 30th-ranked defense since free agency opened, and that could be enough to row this franchise into a dark horse spot in the playoffs.

Dan Hanzus, NFL.com: No. 22

Do the Vikings regret the course of their first draft with new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in charge? It’s fair to wonder. Minnesota traded the No. 12 overall pick, passing potential generational talent to safety Kyle Hamilton in order to land … a different safety (Georgia standout Lewis Cine) with the 32nd pick. The team they dealt with – the division rival Lions – used that 12th cap to add hugely promising receiver talent in Jameson Williams. The Vikings added an additional third-round pick in the trade with Detroit, but it’s easy to guess with this one. Do the Vikings feel better now than they did at the end of a disappointing 2021 season?

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