The Vikings are coming off a disappointing season. The crew completed 7-9 and missed out on the playoffs. Nevertheless, there are some optimistic takeaways that would result in enchancment within the 2021 NFL season.
From rookies to veterans, the Vikings can retain expertise in some areas and stay in a playoff window for the foreseeable future. With Mike Zimmer as coach and Rick Spielman as basic supervisor, the crew will most certainly need to be aggressive subsequent season on account of the regression skilled in 2020.
In honor of Valentine’s Day being at present, Vikings Wire determined to compile a listing of the issues it loves about Minnesota. Right here is the checklist:
The vast receiver tandem
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Minnesota traded Stefon Diggs and used one of many acquired draft picks to land Justin Jefferson in 2020. Within the quick time period, that commerce labored out for each the Payments and Vikings.
Jefferson had a stellar rookie 12 months. Jefferson and Adam Thielen make up a menacing vast receiver duo.
The 2020 draft class
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Jefferson is the apparent star thus far, however gamers like Cameron Dantzler and D.J. Wonnum additionally confirmed promise. Throw in Ezra Cleveland, James Lynch, Jeff Gladney and extra — and the Vikings draft class has an opportunity to be actually particular.
The potential of the line of defense
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Michael Pierce opted out of the 2020 season. Having him for 2021 shall be a lift. Danielle Hunter can be returning, barring something surprising. If the Vikings can add a three-technique who’s respectable, the unit isn’t far off.
Possibly Wonnum can grow to be a starter at defensive finish, or possibly Ifeadi Odenigbo may return to his 2019 manufacturing degree as a starter. If not, Minnesota may all the time take a defensive finish within the draft.
Dalvin Cook dinner
Photograph: AP Photograph/Jim Mone
There’s an argument to be made that the Vikings ought to run the ball much less, particularly on second-and-long. Nevertheless, Cook dinner’s stellar working means could make that tough.
He rushed for 1,557 yards and tallied 16 speeding touchdowns in 2020. No matter how you’re feeling about which course the Minnesota offense ought to go in, Cook dinner’s presence could make a major distinction.
Photograph: Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports activities
Minnesota has arguably the most effective protection linebacker in the complete NFL. Kendricks had three interceptions and 6 passes defended in 2020, ending with a PFF grade of 82.6.
Kendricks’ absence was felt within the Minnesota protection final season. If he can stay wholesome all of 2021, then the Vikings protection shall be lots higher. There’s hope for Minnesota followers.