The Minnesota Vikings have had a strong existence since their 1961 official formation. They have a lifetime record of 478-397-11 which means their fans have been lucky to see them win more than they have lose.
In recent years under the tutelage of Mike Zimmer, they have been a middle of the road and unspectacular team. The 13-3 season of 2017 was a highlight and Case Keenum led them to the NFC Championship game where they lost to the eventual winners, the Eagles.
They have some highly talented players, but what other pieces do you need to build around them to take this team to the next level and away from last season's 8-7-1 record?
BALANCED: The Vikings team have good quality in depth
The Vikings are a very balanced team at 80 OVR. They have a strong offense at 80 OVR, but an even better defense on 81 OVR.
Minnesota have a lot of talent in the team, with a focus on X-Factor Superstars WR Adam Thielen (92 OVR) and SS Harrison Smith (94 OVR).
The offense is led by Star QB Kirk Cousins (81 OVR). He has help from exciting Star HB Dalvin Cook (85 OVR), Superstar WR Stefan Diggs (92 OVR) and Star TE Kyle Rudolph (85 OVR)
On defense, they have talent throughout but starting up front with Superstar LE Danielle Hunter (86 OVR), Star RE Everson Griffin (85 OVR) and Star DT Linval Joseph (86 OVR).
At linebacker there is Star LOLB Anthony Barr (82 OVR), and further back you have Star CB Xavier Rhodes (86 OVR)
So how can you improve this team to fight for a Lombardi trophy?
The big problems you should be looking to address are focused around all the Offensive Line and Free Safety.
Offensive Linemen are a hole for a lot of teams but LT Riley Reiff (67 OVR, 69 run block, 71 pass block) is on a monster contract, but may also be liable to get Cousins killed from lack of protection. The rest of the line is also weak, but the competition there is younger and has more upside.
On the other side of the ball, FS is a glaring weakness in a lineup that doesn't have many. Anthony Harris (73 OVR, 74 Zone Cover, 67 Man Cover) is OK, but he's 27 so he's not going to improve.
Trying to get someone to part with offensive linemen in this market might be tough. But if you offer a lot and put importance in the position there are deals to be done.
As you don't have many gaps in other positions you can offer the world to get the best player. There's a couple of options at the position, but if you're going to do it, you may well as try to stick one to your division rivals at the same time...
David Bakhtiari, Left Tackle (96 OVR)
BEST OF THE BEST: There isnt a better pass protecting linemen in the game
Best Stats: Awareness (99), Pass Block (97), Strength (91), Impact Block (90), Lead Block (88), Run Block (82)
David Bakhtiari is a Superstar LT that is a big reason for Aaron Rodgers success. He is the best pass blocker in the league and he will take you to the promised land.
Everything about him is elite, even his 'weak' points. He has maximum Awareness (99) to boost the OL, and his Pass Blocking (97) is nearly perfect. His Strength (91) will compete with the best defenders and Impact Block (90) is key to prevent sacks. His Run Block (82) is a little lower but still well above anyone on your team.
Ronny Stanley, Left Tackle (85 OVR)
TALENT: Stanley is young and will help your team for 7 years plus
Best Stats: Awareness (93), Pass Block (87), Strength (87), Lead Block (87), Run Block (85), Impact Block (84)
Ronny Stanley is a slightly more achievable target, but its still going to take a very good offer to get him. He is a little bit younger and so still has years to develop with XP
He has top end Strength (87) and Awareness (93) which will help against big defensive linemen. His Pass blocking (87) is very good, and along with Lead block (87) and run block (85) he's a great all rounder.
Free Agency Targets
These guys won’t cost you draft picks, but you’ll need some cap space to sign them.
Eric Berry, Strong Safety (86 OVR)
BERRY IS SWEET: Get him in, move him to FS and then win
Best Stats: Speed (89), Acceleration (89), Zone Cover (88), Play Recognition (87), Hit Power (86), Pursuit (83) Tackle (76)
Whilst Berry is naturally a SS, his skills are at such a good level that moving across still represents a huge upgrade. You could also move Harrison Smith instead.
Berry's Speed (89) and Acceleration (89) are still the highest level, and whilst they will regress at his age, they are still positionally strong. His Zone Cover (88) is elite, and Play Recognition (87) is going to be useful for great CPU play on your behalf. I also wouldn't be surprised if he got a few fumbles with his hit power (86).
Jermey Parnell, Right Tackle (76 OVR)
PLUG IN AND PLAY: Steady pair of hands for a season or 2
Best Stats: Strength (84), Awareness (84), Impact Block (81), Pass Block (80), Run Block (78), Lead Block (78)
This is a purely mercenary move. There are gaps across virtually the whole OL, but I would sign Parnell and then switch him to be a LT.
Parnell is a strong (85), solid vet with good awareness (84). This matters on OL, and he’s still good in the running game with Run Block (78), Pass Block (80), Lead Block (78) and Impact Block (81).
Nearly every team in the league will be looking to get offensive linemen, but their value cannot be understated. In Madden 20, they dont have to be world beaters but you need some young guys with upside and at least mid 70's for all the types of Blocking.
Nailing the draft can be a big ask, as players rarely fit needly into their expected stat ranges and the AI can snipe your targets from you. Don't fear, we have all the tips & tricks for you to master drafting in Franchise Mode here.