Toss quarterbacks out the window for this list of "blue chip" players created by NFL Media's Bucky Brooks.
Brooks broke down what he considers the ten "most talented" rosters (minus the quarterback) in the NFL. He believes Super Bowl contenders typically have at least one Pro Bowl caliber player in each position group, and 8-10 on the roster.
Despite finishing last season 7-9, Brooks has the Vikings ranked 10th in terms of talent.
"I'm sure the Vikings' placement on this list will be met with some criticism, but a closer look at the roster reveals a number of big-time playmakers on both sides of the ball. The offense returns one of the top runners in NFL history (Peterson) -- and added a lethal deep threat in Wallace. Additionally, the presence of Rudolph as an "MOF" (middle of the field) threat gives Minnesota an impressive collection of offensive firepower. Defensively, Griffen's emergence as a dominant pass rusher has not only elevated the play of the unit, but it has allowed the team's underrated ballhawks (like Smith) to feast on hurried throws between the hashes. With young players like Barr, Rhodes and Floyd on the verge of becoming household names, the Vikings suddenly look like emerging contenders in the NFC."
Brooks listed five Vikings as blue chip players: Defensive end Everson Griffen, running back Adrian Peterson, tight end Kyle Rudolph, safety Harrison Smith and wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Brooks referred to three players, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, cornerback Xavier Rhodes and linebacker Anthony Barr as players "on the rise."
The return of Peterson to the team has the Vikings on the rise in the eyes of analysts. CBS Sports' Will Brinson says those planning to jump on the Vikings' bandwagon better do so fast, because it's quickly filling. He writes that Peterson carried the Vikings to the playoffs in 2012, and he could do so again this season with a "substantially" better roster.