NFC Power Rankings: Where do the Vikings rank after the 2022 NFL Draft?

(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Ikem Ekwonu /

16. Carolina Panthers

After finishing with a 5-12 record in 2021, things probably aren’t going to be much better for the Panthers during the 2022 season.

Currently, Sam Darnold is still Carolina’s starting quarterback, and that’s not something that is going to result in success for the franchise. The Panthers did use a third-round pick on former Mississippi signal-caller Matt Corral this year, so perhaps he can give the team some hope for the future, but that’s far from a guarantee.

Carolina went with former North Carolina State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu with their first-round selection in this year’s NFL Draft. Ekwonu has the potential to develop into an exceptional blocker, but he’s not going to make a big enough impact as a rookie to keep the Panthers away from the bottom of the NFC next season.

15. Atlanta Falcons

For a team that traded away Matt Ryan earlier this offseason, it was a bit surprising that the Falcons waited until the third round of the 2022 draft to pick a quarterback when they used a selection on former Cincinnati passer Desmond Ridder.

Atlanta did add former USC wide receiver Drake London in the first round this year, but he still needs someone to throw him the ball. Unless Ridder blows some people away this summer, London might have to try to haul in passes from Marcus Mariota, someone who has attempted a total of 30 throws in the last two seasons.