Here are Minnesota's 2007 team rankings from Football Outsiders and NFL.com:
They are clearly an elite team at running the ball and stopping the run, but need to improve their pass offense and pass defense.
So here's who they selected in the first four rounds of the draft:
|2nd Round (43)||FS Tyrell Johnson|
They traded three picks in the first three rounds for DE Jared Allen, so he's got to be mentioned. Usually a team with few draft choices has a low chance so success because if the top guy doesn't work out then the draft overall might be a failure. Clearly they are counting on Allen to succeed otherwise it's a bad draft, but he isn't like some unknown rookie who might not succeed in the NFL. Allen's one of the best pass rushers/defensive ends in the NFL already.
Allen will really change Minnesota's defense next season. Johnson will help a poor pass defense too, but opponents will have double team Allen a lot. Probably just help from the tight end, but then he'll be unavailable as a receiver. It should help reduce the number of double teams faced by Pro Bowl DT Kevin Williams too. Minnesota had a lot of sacks as a team, 38, which tied for 8th best and was more then the Packers 36 sacks, but a lot of them came from linebackers who had to blitz to provide pressure instead of dropping back in coverage. If Minnesota doesn't need to blitz as much with Allen's presence on the line, then that literally provides more bodies back in coverage which again should help the pass defense.
The pass offense received little attention in the draft. WR Bernard Berrian was signed as a free agent so they had taken some steps to improve the pass offense, but Chicago's pass offense was one of the worst in the NFL last season, so he's not going to help single handedly. USC QB John David Booty was drafted in the 5th round, but waiting that late in the draft to find a QB is not really trying. It's a longshot that Booty will significantly help.
Overall this was a good draft for Minnesota since Allen is a proven elite player, but as a Packer fan this draft isn't going to make a difference next season. The Packers played Kansas City last season, and LT Chad Clifton played very well against Allen, and he wasn't a major factor in the game. Figuring out how to stop RB Adrian Peterson will still be the main concern when both teams face each other twice next season.