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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Tyler Forness

Vikings Report Card: Grading each offensive position from the 2022 season

The 2022 season for the Minnesota Vikings has been over for 12 days and it’s time to start reflecting on what was over the last 6 months.

New head coach Kevin O’Connell went 13-4 in his first season and led the Vikings to their first NFC North division title since 2017. Unfortunately, they lost their first playoff game to the New York Giants.

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As we start to reflect on the season that was, we are spending this article looking at the Vikings offensive position groups. Here are the grades for each one.


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This is going to be mostly a one-player grade: Kirk Cousins. He had a great year under head coach Kevin O’Connell, but it wasn’t a perfect one. He completed 65.9% of his passes for 4,547 yards, 29 touchdowns and a career-high 14 interceptions. Despite his high interception total, he did have a career-high 643 attempts and a solid 2.2% interception rate.

Unfortunately, a season that saw Cousins take strides in attacking down the field and trusting Justin Jefferson will be marred by his last offensive snap where he threw the ball five yards short of the sticks on fourth and eight. Overall, this was a very good season from Cousins but the improvement just wasn’t enough in the big spot.

Grade: B+

Running back

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The running back position is an interesting one to parse out. Dalvin Cook had over 1,100 yards and made the Pro Bowl for the fourth-consecutive season, but he paired it with his worst yards per carry total of his career at 4.4. His backup Alexander Mattison had flashes of being a potential starter but he didn’t end up playing a major factor.

Kene Nwangwu and Ty Chandler didn’t play much after the preseason. Chandler broke his thumb in week five and Nwangwu still hasn’t done enough to earn playing time outside of garbage time. Despite good production, they didn’t play nearly as well as their talent level.

Grade: B

Wide receiver

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

This one is a tale of two parts. The first part is Justin Jefferson who is a finalist to be the league’s Most Valuable Player. He led the NFL in receptions (128) and receiving yards (1,804) and did so in dominant fashion. There were a multitude of instances where Jefferson led the Vikings out of the doldrums and helped them secure victories.

The rest of the room was a mixed bag. K.J. Osborn had a great finish to the season after struggling early on in the season. Adam Thielen dealt with leg injuries throughout the year and was never a focal point of the offense. Jalen Reagor nearly cost the Vikings their comeback against the Indianapolis Colts twice with bad routes and Jalen Nailor only got real playing time when the Vikings were down by 20+ points.

The theme of this group is it’s Justin Jefferson and a bunch of okay guys. They need to upgrade the position in a big way this offseason.

Grade: B

Tight end

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings tight end position was one that left a lot to be desired until they traded for T.J. Hockenson on November 1st.  Hockenson was a tremendous asset for the Vikings, nearly accruing 1,000 receiving yards on the year. He became the Vikings number two receiving target and helped the passing game in a major way.

Irv Smith Jr. got injured again and became a non-factor. Johnny Mundt played slightly above his role as backup. Nick Muse existed as did Jacob Hollister and James O’Shaughnessy.

Grade: B

Offensive tackles

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings best position group was the offensive tackle spot. Christian Darrisaw was PFFs second-best tackle and Brial O’Neill was PFFs eighth-best tackle. They were trusted to play on islands and did a great job in protecting Kirk Cousins.

When each player was hurt, Blake Brandel and Oli Udoh did a great job in staying at replacement level and weren’t a mitigated disaster. This projects out to be a great position for the Vikings moving forward.

Grade: A

Interior offensive line

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The interior offensive line was a mixed bag this season. Ezra Cleveland was a solid left guard all season but he didn’t do a lot to show that he should be a priority for the Vikings to extend him. He was average at best, especially with Darrisaw next to him.

Garrett Bradbury somewhat had a “breakout” season for the Vikings. He finished as PFFs 10th-ranked center this season and when he was out with a back injury, his presence was massively missed.

Ed Ingram struggled most of the season but started to play better at the end of the year. He led the league in pressures allowed per PFF with 63 but he was allowed to play through his issues and played the sixth-most snaps among all guards with 1,225.

Grade: C

The Real Forno Show

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