5 Vikings players who’ll benefit most from offseason changes in 2022

(Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Eric Kendricks
(Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Eric Kendricks /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /

Dalvin Cook – RB

Despite Justin Jefferson stating that the Minnesota Vikings are no longer a run-first team, it would be a major shock if Dalvin Cook wasn’t a tone-setting presence throughout Kevin O’Connell’s first season as head coach.

Cook’s dealt with some injury problems throughout his career, but he produces elite numbers consistently and this is something the Vikings will lean on heavily despite the clear shift in ethos on offense.

Banging Cook between the tackles 30 times a game isn’t going to cut it. But even if the former Florida State standout’s touches decrease slightly, that is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination.

Using Cook differently and increasing his influence in the passing game completely changes how opposing defenses would approach things. Providing the offensive line lives up to their end of the bargain, then the player’s dual-threat abilities will only be enhanced as a result.

One doesn’t have to look far across the NFL to see what can happen to backs when they shoulder too much of a burden. The Vikings don’t have to do this where Cook is concerned anymore, so maximizing his production and improving the player’s longevity for good measure is a win-win for all parties.