The easiest way to win the Super Bowl is to have several star players. Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Chris Jones. The latter is in the conversation to be the league’s top defensive tackle, while Kelce and Mahomes are playing at arguably a higher level than anyone else at their respective positions.
Who are the three best Vikings?
The major criticism about the Vikings’ roster in recent years has been that the team is top heavy and lacks depth. Those concerns were valid. The former general manager of the Vikings made it a priority to keep drafted players in the building. Nothing wrong with that thought. People like Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter, and Dalvin Cook received well-deserved extensions. Due to that philosophy and some mistakes in the draft, the Vikings lacked depth, and some injuries ravaged the organization.
On the flip side, a top-heavy team always has a few stars, and the Vikings are no different. The best player of the team is Justin Jefferson, the face of the franchise. Every football fan and every Vikings fan will agree to that. He is in talks to be the league’s top player, as seen when he was the top vote-getter among all non-quarterbacks in the MVP race and winner of the Offensive Player of the Year trophy.
In addition to Jefferson, the Vikings fielded other contenders for the remaining two spots in the top 3. Tight end TJ Hockenson was one of the most productive players at his position in 2022. Kirk Cousins lacks Mahomes-like talent but is extremely reliable and consistent. , Danielle Hunter is a disruptive guard, Harrison Smith and Dalvin Cook are no longer in their prime but still valuable players. Offensive tackles Brian O’Neal and Christian DeRissaw are both Pro Bowl-caliber linemen.
Trevor from Sikkim pro football focus named her Top three players from each team, his choice for the vikings were Jefferson, Hunter, and Darishaw,
With three straight elite grades to start his career, it’s silly how good Justin Jefferson has been since coming into the league in 2020. Hunter is still a force on that defensive line, as he recorded a two-point sack in each. His last three seasons when fully healthy, including 2022. Darrisaw barely finished last over Cook, simply because they feel like two players that could go in different directions. Cooks, while still a very good back, posted a rate of 4.5 yards per carry and an inefficient 23.4% stuff in 2022 (how often one gains zero or negative yards on a carry). Meanwhile, Darishaw jumped to a 91.1 total blocking grade in his second season.
Hunter and Jefferson began their careers in record-breaking fashion, but injuries slowed the defenders down. He finished ninth among all defenders in the league with 76 pressures and fifth in QB rushing in 2022, despite learning some new techniques at a slightly different position. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores will have a lot of fun scheming with his excellent pass rusher, something he didn’t have in Miami.
Jefferson is by far the most productive young receiver the league has ever seen, at least in terms of receptions and yards, and he just keeps getting better. His place on the list was never in doubt.
Daricav had a great campaign in 2022 with only a few injuries slowing him down. He should avoid maintaining more of them at all costs to keep his sports career alive and his personal health. The offensive tackle played at the All-Pro level when he was on the field and would be a staple of the Vikings organization for years to come.
Sikkima got the list right. His honorable mentions were Cook and Cousins. Cooks slowed down in recent years but still has some gas left, while Cousins went to his fourth Pro Bowl.
Janik Ekardt is a football fan who loves numbers and statistics. The Vikings became his favorite team, despite the quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking football encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and classic rock is his musical genre of choice. If you like Vikings, follow them on Twitter: @JanikEckardt